Korean studies, or Koreanology is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of Korea, which includes the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and diasporic Korean populations. Areas commonly included under this rubric include Korean history, Korean culture, Korean literature, Korean art, Korean music, Korean language and linguistics, Korean sociology and anthropology, Korean politics, Korean economics, Korean folklore, Korean ethnomusicology and increasing study of Korean popular culture. It may be compared to other area studies disciplines, such as American studies and Chinese studies. Korean studies is sometimes included within a broader regional area of focus including "East Asian studies" or "Asian studies."
- Notable centers of Korean studies outside Korea
- Korean Studies Programs in Korea
- Academic Journals
- Associations for Korean Studies overseas
The term Korean studies first began to be used in the 1940s, but did not attain widespread currency until South Korea rose to economic prominence in the 1970s. In 1991, the South Korean government established the Korea Foundation to promote Korean studies around the world.
Korean studies was originally an area of study conceived of and defined by non-Koreans. Korean scholars of Korea tend to see themselves as linguists, sociologists, and historians, but not as "Koreanists" unless they have received at least some of their education outside Korea and are academically active (for example publishing and attending conferences)in languages other than Korean (most Korean studies publications are in English but there is also a significant amount of Korean Studies activity in other European languages), or work outside Korean academia. In the mid-2000s, Korean universities pushing for more classes taught in English began to hire foreign-trained Koreanists of Korean and non-Korean origin to teach classes. This was often geared towards foreigners in Korean graduate schools. There are now graduate school programs in Korean Studies (mostly active at the MA level) in most of the major Korean universities. BA programs in Korean Studies have now been opened at two Korean universities. The BA programs are distinctive in that they have few foreign students.
Notable centers of Korean studies outside Korea
Korean Studies Programs in Korea
Associations for Korean Studies overseas
The term Koreanists indicates academic scholars of Korean language, history, culture, society, music, art, literature, film and more. Noted Koreanists are usually adept in Korean, even if they are citizens of foreign countries.
Notable early Koreanists include James Scarth Gale, William E. Skillend and Richard Rutt.
Notable scholars of Korean music, dance, and performance include Lee Hye-ku, Song Bangsong, Keith Howard, Hwang Byungki, Lee Duhyon, and Lee Byongwon.
Notable scholars of Korean folklore, anthropology, and sociology include Roger Janelli, Shin Gi-wook, Nancy Abelmann, Laurel Kendall, Mutsuhiko Shima, Choi Chungmoo and Shimpei Cole Ota.
Notable scholars of Korean religion include Robert Buswell Jr. (for Buddhism), Michael Kalton (for Confucianism), Donald Clark and Donald Baker (both historians with publications related to Christianity) and James Huntley Grayson.
Notable historians of Korea include Bruce Cumings, Martina Deuchler, James Palais, Carter Eckert, Roger Tennant, Lew Young Ick, John Duncan, Michael Robinson, JaHyun Kim Haboush, Charles K. Armstrong, Lee Kibaek, Edward W. Wagner, and others.
Notable Korean archaeologists include Gina Barnes and Bae Kidong.
Notable scholars of Korean literature include David McCann, Peter H. Lee, Yang Hi Choe-Wall, Kyeong-Hee Choi, and Brother Anthony of Taize, .
Notable Koreanists who work on studies of the DPRK include Andrei Lankov, Charles Armstrong.