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Language and Society of the Two Koreas

Course Number: ALL 3920 (UMN); ASN 291, sec. 301 (MSU); EAS 301 (UW)

Times: Mon/Wed 2:00 – 3:15PM (CT), 3:00 – 4:15 (ET)

Instructor: Hangtae Cho

This course is designed to offer an introduction and contrastive analysis of the language and society of the two Koreas; the Republic of Korea (better known as South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (better known as North Korea) with a heavier emphasis on North Korea. This course will introduce the growing divide of the past 70 years between North and South Korea in the areas of language, society and culture.  The complexity of the East Asian region is partly due to the issues involving the two Koreas; however, knowledge regarding North Korea remains very limited compared to its neighbors. Mass media portrays the controversial political and human right issues of North Korea but generally lacks in coverage of everyday life there. The course content will be based on various scholarly articles and book chapters, current web-based resources, news reports, North Korean propaganda and documentaries. While this course will include linguistic elements of interest to intermediate and advanced students of the Korean language, all course content will be accessible to students regardless of Korean language proficiency. This course has no pre-requisites and does not expect students to have a background in political science, Korean history, or sociology, nor a background on North Korea. It does however expect that students have some interest in these areas.

Hosting University: University of Minnesota

Participating Universities: Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin

Academic Calendar: Unless specified by the course instructor, the course will follow the host campus’ academic calendar.