ENG587: Beyond Korean Cool

Hallyu, the Korean cultural wave, has swept the Republic of Korea onto the world stage as an exporter of dramas, boy bands, girl bands and film.

Hallyu, the Korean cultural wave, has swept the Republic of Korea onto the world stage as an exporter of dramas, boy bands, girl bands and film. After the Korean War, Korea was among the world's poorest nations. Today South Korea is considered the most wired country on earth and the plastic surgery capital of the world. How does contemporary South Korean literature explore the cost of rapid change and urbanization? If writers are holding up a mirror to this divided nation, what are they demanding that we see? In 2013 the Literature Translation Institute of Korea in collaboration with Dalkey Archive Press published a collection of 25 Korean novels and short story collections in English. Studying literary texts in translation will allow us to look beyond Korean pop culture to examine the concept of han and what has been sacrificed in the pursuit of economic growth. Students will write short analytical pieces and complete an independent project of their own design.