Week 8: The Founding of Chosŏn and the Imjin War

Make sure you have completed your assignments covering week 7 by the start of Wednesday’s class!

IMPORTANT: PASSWORD ACCESS TO PDFs: Username and password can be found on the Canvas Homepage

Remember you can post questions, queries, musings and ideas on the Pad.

Wed. March 11: Founding Chosŏn Planning for remote learning, perhaps a bit of Chosŏn history

  • Main objective today: planning for remote learning (aka “online”)
        • Consider: elements of course you want to keep/replicate without being in classroom together
        • What do you need/desire from me (instructor) and from the College/OIT (tech)?
        • What are possible limitations you may face while away from campus? How can we work around them?
        • What online tools are you familiar with to maintain our learning community?
        • I have some ideas on how we can make this transition, but I much prefer to hear from you: this is a stressful time and the last thing we need is confusion or complexity. We’ll try to stay with tested and familiar tech solutions.

Fri. March 13: Further finetuning for remote learning

  • Setting up for remote learning and testing features of the digital tools
  • Info on final project

Coming up soon, next week:

The comparison between the “Ten Injunctions” of Wang Kŏn (Google doc) of Koryŏ and the “Founding Edict” by king T’aejo of Chosŏn.

  • Textbook: Seth, Michael J. A Concise History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present. 3rd ed. Blue Ridge Summit: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.
        • Chapter 6 up to p. 150, Chapter 7 in full
        • Use this as background: what are the big trends and developments in society, culture and politics?
  • Primary Sources:
        • “The Founding Edict.” In Sources of Korean Tradition: Vol. 1: From Early Times through the Sixteenth Century, edited by Peter H. Lee and Wm. Theodore de Bary, 271-274. Introduction to Asian Civilizations. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1997. (PDF)
                • How does this document compare with the Ten Injunctions of the founding king Wang Kŏn of the Koryŏ period?
        • “Madam Song’s Reply to Her Husband, Lord Munjŏl, Yu Hŭich’un.” In Epistolary Korea: Letters in the Communicative Space of the Chosŏn, 1392-1910, edited by JaHyun Kim Haboush, 221-225. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. (PDF)
                • This letter provides a humorous insight in daily life for the yangban, but it also reveals much about social and cultural norms: what does a deeper analysis of the letter’s content tell you about the values held by the Chosŏn elite, and how does this compare with earlier time periods?
                • Note: additional information and letters are included should you want to read more of this type of material.
  • Slides (Gdrive link)
  • Textbook: Seth, Michael J. A Concise History of Korea: From Antiquity to the Present. 3rd ed. Blue Ridge Summit: Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.
        • Chapter 6 from p. 150,
  • Primary source: A Korean War Captive in Japan, 1597-1600 : The Writings of Kang Hang. Edited and translated by JaHyun Kim Haboush and Kenneth R Robinson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013. (ebook Trexler)
        • Chapter 1-4 give you an eye-witness account of the war as seen from the perspective of a scholar-official who was swept up in events beyond his control. Pick one of the chapters and read in depth. What are some of the motivations of the writer? How does he get his message across? What is the value of this type of text for military history?