Modern History of Korea (SS 2010) Instructor: Dr. Yonson Ahn Class meeting: Lecture Friday 10.00-12.00, Neue Mensa 118 (Commencing on May 20, 2010 Please note that this course involves one block seminar session on Saturday June 5, 2010 Contact details: Office: Room 920 b, Juridicum Office hour: Wednesday 16:00 -17:00 and by appointment COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course traces modern Korean history from the late-Chosŏn period through the first half of the twenty-first century (1850 - 1953). The early part of this period is defined by Korea’s struggle to meet international challenges while preserving its traditional institutions. Failure to accomplish this resulted in the Korean peninsula’s incorporation into the Japanese empire. Following liberation Korea faced the challenges of national division and civil war. Understanding these themes, this course aims to provide overviews of various trends throughout the modern history of Korea. The broad scope is designed to introduce some of the central developments and problems in Korea’s modern past. Lectures and discussions review both the political changes of Korea and social and cultural contexts of political transitions. This course is taught in English and in German: both languages can be used for discussions and essay.