• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Ruth Barraclough
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course will introduce students to the history of Korea from 1800 to the present with an emphasis on modernity, gender, war and capitalism. Using primary sources, literary works, documentary, and film, we will explore such topics as: the genealogy of modern Korean nationalism through peasant and aristocratic rebellions in the 19th century; the tangled relationship between Korea and Japan during the period of Japanese colonial rule (19120-1945); how North Korea became communist and specifically women in the creation of North Korea; the scars of the Korean War (1950-53); counter-cultural movements in 1970s and 80s South Korea; and contemporary challenges facing South and North Korea. This course will give students a thorough grounding in Korean history, and introduce them to major interpretative currents in the study of Korean history.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion, students will have the skills and knowledge to:
• Analyse core social and historical issues in modern Korean history.
• Critically evaluate key historical events in Korea's modern history: the fall of the Choson Dynasty, colonialism, the Korean war, industrialisation and democratisation.
• Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the key themes of gender, war, communism and capitalism as they relate to modern Korean history.
• Integrate theoretical debates within historical analysis to develop an understanding of modern Korea within the region and the world.

Other Information

Delivery Mode:

On Campus

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial essay (15%),

Tutorial Presentation (5%),

Class Contribution (10%),

Research essay (40%),

Final examination (30%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


3 contact hours per week plus 7 non-contact hours.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed 36 units of university courses.

Preliminary Reading

Kyung Moon Hwang, ‘Birth and Bureaucracy’ in Beyond Birth: Social Status in the Emergence of Modern Korea, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.

Sunjoo Kim, Marginality and Subversion in Korea: The Hong Kyongnae Rebellion of 1812, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2007. 

Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun, New York: Norton, 2005.

Carter Eckert, et al, Korea Old and New, Seoul: Ilchokak, 1990. 

Andre Schmid, Korea Between Empires 1895-1919, New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.

Charles Armstrong, The North Korean Revolution 1945-50, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2004. 

Kim Yong and Kim Suk Young, Long Road Home, New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.


Namhee Lee, The Making of Minjung: Democracy and the Politics of Representation in South Korea, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4768 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions