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Eun-Shil Kim

2015-16 Korea Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor of Korean Studies
Photo of Eun-Shil KIM


Fall 2015 course at Cornell: Studying Contemporary Korea Through Gender and Sexuality (ANTHR 4021/ASIAN 4421/FGSS 4121)

Course Description:

This course explores contemporary Korean society and culture through the issues of gender and sexuality. In the 1980s, women's movements' activists and the community of women's studies scholars as well as students began to problematize women's positions and the relations of gender/sexuality in Korea. Nowadays, the issues of gender and sexuality are considered as one of the most controversial and arguable public discourses as well as personal politics in Korean society, which reflect the social changes as well as conflicts, differences and contestation of Korean people depending on generation, class, sexual orientations, etc. Under the neoliberal regime, these issues are also framed by economy. Thus, Korean newspapers reports the appearance of the generation who gives up dating, marriage and childbirth due to the lack of jobs. However, at the same time, they report that young people's desire and idea for romantic love is getting strengthened by the influence of consumption culture. By examining diverse readings and visual materials, this course aims to understand how the issues of gender and sexuality has been working as one of organizing powers of modern Korean society in relation to family, state, popular cultures, economy and globalization, etc.

Course Requirement and Evaluation:

1. Class participation 20%: Students should attend class and participate actively in class discussion with completing all reading assignments and watching visual materials (10%). And students are expected to lead one (or two) class discussions (10%).

2. Weekly reaction writings 20%: Students are required to submit 7 times weekly reaction writings including at least one discussion question (2 pages) about the week’s readings and assigned visual materials at the beginning of class in each week.

3. Term paper and presentation 20%: Students are required to write a short paper (6-7 typewritten pages) with proper citations and a bibliography. Students can choose the topic for papers but the topics should be related to the theme of this class.

4. Final Exam 30%.