MidTerm Examination Cultural History Of Modern Korea
Please choose two of the following three questions. The length of each essay should be about 1,500 words each. The deadline for the examination is noon, Tuesday, April 27.
Upload your essays to the turnitin by April 27, noon. Make sure to put your essays in a single file, as you can only upload one file.
In answering the following questions, please try to make judicious use of all the relevant readings, lectures, and discussions in the class. I expect you to make your own arguments and support them, rather than merely enumerating facts/arguments given by the readings/lectures.
While I applaud any efforts at creativity, I expect your essay to be firmly grounded in specific materials from this class. Please provide abbreviated citations when you quote /cite from the readings (example: Lee, “Yi Kwang-su,” p. 39; Kim, “Hyol-ui Nu,” Part 1, p. 39). For citations from Cumings’ Korea’s Place, please indicate the chapter from which you are citing or quoting, as page number is not given in the pdf file uploaded in CCLE. No coversheet or bibliography is necessary. Your essays should be double spaced, 12 point type in a normal font, with one-inch margins.
Given that you will have three days to work on this exam, I will not accept any late submissions, unless there is a medical emergency with proper document from medical doctor/facility. If I detect any plagiarism in your essays, I will give you F for the grade. Please see below for a definition of plagiarism.
1) Discuss the concept of “civilization and enlightenment” (Munmyŏng kaehwa) that appeared in the late nineteenth century Korea: its sociopolitical and intellectual context, its relation to nationalism, and Korean intellectuals’ role in it. Please also incorporate in your discussion Kichung Kim’s “Hyol-ui Nu: Korea’s First ‘New’ Novel” and Ann Lee’s “The Heartless,” if applicable. Make sure to offer your own critical assessment of its leaders, their views on modernization, their impact on the society, and so on.
2) Based on your reading and the lectures in the class so far, how would you evaluate the divergent paths taken by Korean nationalist to achieve independence from the Japanese colonial regime. How did they differ? And how were these divergent paths related to the political developments immediately after Korea was liberated from Japan?
3) Evaluate the following statement based on your class readings and lectures. Whether you agree or disagree with the statement, you will have to defend your position, based on the readings in the class. Your discussion should consider the developments in the immediate aftermath of 1945, the emergence of two regimes in the Korean peninsula in 1948, and the role of the United States and the former Soviet Union in your response. Also, please include the impact of the Korean war in the post-war South Korea, based on the short stories (such as “The Rainy Spell” and “Scarlet Fingernails”) we have discussed in the class.
“The Korean War was civil and revolutionary in character, like Vietnam War, and it originated with the collapse of Japanese imperialism and the national division in 1945. The conflict was fought by political means and with rebellions in 1945-47, through unconventional guerrilla war from 1948 through 1950, and by conventional military assaults along the parallel from May 1949 onward to June 25.”