New Spring 2014 Korean area studies courses offered

October 15, 2013

As part of a newly-created effort to build an e-class system of shared courses with Korean content among a number of Midwestern schools the following new course offerings will have small enrollments, will be simulcast among 3 universities, and will make extensive use of internet-based technologies. Limited enrollment is available.

HISTORY 3194: Controversies in Contemporary Korea

This course will be offered Tuesdays from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. and will examine four contemporary controversies in Korea from a historical perspective, in order to provide a broad understanding of the very recent history of the birthplace of the "Korean Wave" and the "Miracle of the Han River." There will be four major areas to be covered. First, we will look at the controversies surrounding the comfort women, Japanese history textbooks, Dokdo Islets, and Collaboration; second, we will look at globalization, economic growth, and the Korean Wave; Third, we will look at North Korea and the "Axis of Evil"; and finally, we will examine "education fever" in South Korea." The course goals are to enable students to become familiar with the history and culture of modern Korea, to gain critical perspectives on contemporary controversies in Korea, and to explore new ways of understanding the human condition through the lens of contemporary controversies in Korea.This class is being taught live at the University of Michigan by Dr. Juhn Ahn, and shared with students at OSU and Purdue on an interactive basis, with each campus limited to an enrollment of 12 students.


KOREAN 4194: North Korean Beyond Images

This course will be offered Thursdays from 3:25 - 5:55 p.m. and will explore the visual cultures of North Korea. While North Korea has notoriously gained a reputation as the most isolated country in the world, there are many images inundating media, in news or in popular culture. Images are the most prominent way through which we gain knowledge about North Korea, but they are not transparent mediums and are in need of interpretation. Throughout the semester, we will explore various ways through which North Korea uses visual mediums to showcase its state power and ideology, to write history, and to represent memory to the people of North Korea and to the world. We will also examine the representation of North Korea from perspective ofthe defectors as well as the Western spectators and even tourists. The genres that we will examine include art, architecture, murals, posters, stamps, illustrations, animation, photography, film, opera, mass games, museum, cemetery, and processions/parades. Students are expected to develop a critical perspective on the politics of representation and the role of the mediums in use.This class is being taught live at the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Se-Mi Oh, and shared with students at OSU and Michigan on an interactive basis, with each campus limited to an enrollment of 12 students.


For additional information, contact Mitch Lerner, Dept. of History, at

More information about the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Korean eSchool can be found here: