Sogang International Summer College 2012 

Korean Studies Seminar 2: 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 his 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 / 2 : (Monday, June 25, 2012.  1:00-4:50 pm) Introduction to the course and overview of modern Korean history and literature. Survey of pre-1945 poetry (pages 13-17, 28-34): Kim Sowol, Manhae, Chŏng Chiyong, Kim Yŏng-nang, Sŏ Chŏng-ju

Class 3 /4 : (Wednesday, June 27. 1:00- 4:50 pm) Fiction from 1936 Yi Sang, “Wings,” Yi Hyosŏk “When the Buckwheat Blooms,”  Survey of post-1945 poetry (pages 39-46, 48-54): Sŏ Chŏng-ju, Pak Mog-wol, Cho Chihun, Kim Su-yŏng

Week 2

Class 5 (Wednesday, July 4. 3:00-4:50 pm) Survey of post-1945 fiction (pages 37-39, 46-48, 54-60) Hwang Sunwŏn "Shower",  Cho Sehŭi “Knifeblade.”

Friday Field Trip: Hwaseong Fortress and Korean Folk Village


Week 3 :

Class 6: (Wednesday, July 11. 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 4 :

Class 7: (Monday, July 16. 3:00-4:50 pm)  Survey of fiction (pages 78-82, 86-90): Yi Mun-yŏl "The Old Hatter," Ch’oe Yun "Watching Father,"

Class 8: (Wednesday, July 18.  3:00-4:50 pm)  Poetry: Ko Un


Week 5 :

Class 9: (Monday, July 23. 3:00-4:50 pm)  A Bale of Salt by Ku Hyo-sŏ

Class 10: (Wednesday, July 25.  3:00-4:50 pm)   Poems by younger contemporary poets, then final examination about the poetry we have read in class

Written assignment,

1) (due Monday July 16) 
Write something interesting about the Korean culture seen in the places we visited during the field trip related to the literary works we have seen ( 2-3 pages double spaced)
2) (due Monday July 23) Write an interesting essay about  Yi Mun-yŏl's "The Old Hatter" and Ch’oe Yun's "Watching Father"  (2-3  pages single spaced)