Korean Studies at Columbia
Brief History of the Korean Studies Program at Columbia
The history of Korean Studies at Columbia begins as early as 1931, when Korean students in the New York area donated a number of Korean books to Columbia and established a Korean Library and Culture Center. In 1934, Dr. Eungpal Yun, Minister of the Korean Methodist Church, taught the first Korean language course at Columbia. A formal Korean Studies program began in 1962, when a position of Professor of Korean was established. The first scholar to hold the position was Dr. William E. Skillend, a specialist in Korean literature. Dr. Skillend returned to his native England in 1964, at which time he was replaced by Dr. Gari Ledyard, who taught Korean history at Columbia until his retirement in 2000. Also in 1962, the Korean Collection was established within the East Asian Library (now the C.V. Starr East Asian Library), bringing together all books relating to Korea, which until then had been kept in other collections, cataloguing them according to the classification system of the National Central Library in Seoul. Korean-language and Korea-related books and periodicals form a major part of the East Asian Library, overseen by a full time librarian responsible for Korean materials.
Columbia’s Commitment to Korean Studies
In addition to the courses in EALAC, there are Korea-related courses taught regularly in the departments of political science, anthropology, and economics, and in the law and business schools. Besides the Center for Korean Research of the East Asian Institute and the Korean Studies program at EALAC, Columbia also houses the only Center for Korean Legal Studies in the United States. For over eighty years, Columbia has fostered Korea-related research and teaching in the United States. The University remains steadfastly committed to the study of Korea as we enter an increasingly globalized world.
The following Korea-related classes are taught regularly:
Approaches to International and Global History
Buddhism and Korean Culture
Colloquium on Conflict and Culture in Korean History
Colloquium on Korean History to 1900
Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia
Colloquium on Modern East Asian Texts
Colloquium on Modern Korean History
Colonial and Postcolonial Korea
Culture and Society of Choson Korea
Cultures of Colonial Korea
History of Korea to 1900
History of Modern Korea
Introduction to East Asian Civilizations: Korea
Korean Literature and Film
Modern Korean Literature in Translation
Postcolonial Korean Literature and Criticism
Religious Traditions in Korea
Seminar on Geopolitics
Seminar on Korean Historical Materials
Senior Thesis Seminar
Women and Gender in Korean History
For more information, please click here.
Korean Language Classes
Elementary Korean & Intermediate Korean each maintain three sections; True beginners (with absolutely no background in Korean language), False beginners (with some background in Korean language), Korean heritage.
Advanced Korean & Fourth-Year Korean offer one section each. Additional individual help is offered to accommodate different linguistic levels and to meet students’ different needs and goals in studying Korea.
Fifth-Year Korean offers readings of advanced modern literary, historical, political and journalistic texts, and a wide range of materials.
Further information on the Korean language program is available here.
Korean Studies Group at Columbia
Korean Student Association ay Columbia
Weatherhead East Asian Institute
Korean Studies in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Korean Language Program at Columbia University
Korea Collection at C.V. Starr Library
Search Columbia University Course Bulletin
The Center for Korean Legal Studies