Sogang International Summer College 2011 

Korean Studies Seminar 1: Modern Korean Literature in its Contexts

Brother Anthony (An Sonjae)

Monday, Wednesday, 3 - 4:50 pm

This course should normally be taught for 5 weeks, with 2 sessions lasting 110 minutes each week; however, because the other teacher cannot be in Seoul for the first week, I shall teach 4 sessions in that week and the other teacher will make up her missed sessions over the following weeks, as indicated below.

In the course, we will study the overall evolutions of Korean literature during the later 20th century, both poetry and fiction. We shall read a good number of works by writers, always in English translation, discuss their characteristic features in theme and structure, compare them one with another, and situate them in the course of modern Korean history. All students will be required to read the prescribed texts before class, and present their personal ideas during each class hour; this will demand a lot of preparatory reading, there is no other way!

The main text books will be:
20th-Century Korean Literature (EastBridge, online) The page-numbers in the syllabus below refer to this book.
Modern Korean Fiction: An Anthology, edited by Bruce Fulton and Youngmin Kwon (Columbia University Press). The titles below in brown are from this book.
For many more translations and articles, see Brother Anthony's home page    

Translations of texts will be available online or as an offprint.


Week 1:
Class 1: (Monday, June 20, 2011.  1:00- 2:50pm) Introduction to the course and overview of modern Korean history and literature.

Class 2: (Monday, June 20, 2011.  3:00-4:50 pm) Survey of pre-1945 poetry (pages 13-17, 28-34): Kim Sowol, Manhae, Chŏng Chiyong, Kim Yŏng-nang, Sŏ Chŏng-ju
Class 3: (Wednesday, June 22. 1:00- 2:50pm) Survey of post-1945 poetry (pages 39-46, 48-54): Sŏ Chŏng-ju, Pak Mog-wol, Cho Chihun, Kim Su-yŏng
Class 4: (Wednesday, June 22. 3:00-4:50 pm)  Survey of post 1970 poetry (pages 73-78, 90-94) Shin Kyŏng-Nim, Ku Sang, Chŏn Sang-Pyŏng, Kim Kwang-Kyu, Chonggi Mah, Kim Sŭng-hŭi.
Week 2:
Class 5:
(Wednesday, June 29. 3:00-4:50 pm)  Fiction from 1936 Yi Sang, “Wings,”  Yi Hyosŏk “When the Buckwheat Blooms,” Kim Tongni “The Shaman Painting,”
            Friday Field Trip: Hwaseong Fortress and Korean Folk Village

Week 3 :
Class 6:
(Wednesday, July 6. 3:00-4:50 pm)  Survey of post-1945 fiction (pages 37-39, 46-48, 54-60) Hwang Sunwŏn "Shower",  Kim Sŭnggok “Seoul 1964 Winter,”  Cho Sehŭi “Knifeblade.”

Week 4 :
Class 7:
(Monday, July 11. 3:00-4:50 pm)  Survey of fiction (pages 78-82, 86-90): Yi Mun-yŏl "The Old Hatter," Ch’oe Yun "Watching Father," Sŏ Chŏng-in “The Plain
Class 8: (Wednesday, July 13.  3:00-4:50 pm)  Poetry: Ko Un

Week 5 :
Class 9:
(Monday, July 18. 3:00-4:50 pm)  Poems by younger contemporary poets  Songs
Class 10: (Wednesday, July 20.  3:00-4:50 pm) Stories by younger writers: The Forest of Existence by Jeon Seong-Tae, Korean Standards by Park Min-Gyu,  A Bale of Salt by Ku Hyo-sŏ

Written assignment,

1) (due Monday July 11) Write something interesting about the places you visited during the field trip ( 2-3 pages double spaced)
2) (due July 20) Select 2 works of fiction or poems by 3 poets we have studied,  and write an interesting essay about their work and your response to it, while also comparing the way they relate to the social context in which they were written. (4-6 pages double spaced)