Korea University Department of Korean Language&Literature

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Department Introduction

The Department of Korean Language and Literature is affiliated with the College of Liberal Arts. Through authorization to establish Korea University issued by the Minister of Education of the US Military Government Office in Joseon, the Department was established on August 15, 1946 as Department of Korean Literature, one of four departments of the College of Liberal Arts, which also comprised of the Department of English Literature, the Department of Philosophy, and the Department of History. Renamed the Department of Korean Language and Literature in 1968, we celebrated our 70th anniversary in 2016. The majority of our courses are taught in the historic College of Liberal Arts building, represented by the clock tower. The Department Administration Office and full-time professors’ offices are also in the same building.

Our researchers are noted for their outstanding achievements in academia as professors who facilitate serious, driven research climates and their devotion to research even after retirement is exemplary to students. Currently, the Department boasts fourteen professors teaching the major courses of Korean Linguistics, Modern Korean Literature, Classical Korean Literature, Korean Literature in Chinese, and Korean Language Education. Boasting full-time professors specializing in each major research area, our Department is highly recognized in academic circles.

Within the discipline of Korean Linguistics, professors Jiyoung Shin, Kyoungjun Chang, and Young-je Lee teach Phonology, History of Korean, Grammar, respectively, while Professor Chungsook Kim teaches Korean Language Education. Professors Hun Kook Kang, Sang Woo Lee, Boduerae Kwon, Hyung-yup Oh and Jong-hoon Kim are responsible for subjects within contemporary literature, including novels, poems, plays, modern Korean literature in transition, and criticism. Courses on branches of classical literature, including classical poetry, comparative literature, classical novels, oral literature and digital humanities, are taught by Professors Hyungdae Lee, Kwi-muk Choi, Tae-Ung Eom and Seung-eun Lee. Professor Woo Bong Chung conducts courses on Korean literature in Chinese. The balanced composition of our faculty’s major fields of study has led to a professionalized and systematic program, as well as broad and in-depth research in our graduate school.

Working under the auspices of the CORE project, the undergraduate program of the Department of Korean Language and Literature provides opportunities to experience various extra-curricular courses and interdisciplinary studies in addition to the major curriculum. We also offer academic support for students intending to advance to graduate school. Our graduate school’s participation in the Brain Korea Project allows for top-ranked conditions for education and research through the operation of various programs such as scholarships, overseas study, international conferences, and guest lectures by the world’s greatest scholars.  Moreover, since 2016 professors and alumni have joined forces to raise funds for undergraduate student scholarships.

We play a central role in the fields of education, media, society, and culture, and have fostered numerous talented students. Currently, approximately 200 of our graduates are full-time professors in universities across the nation, and a considerable number of our graduates work as faculty at middle and high schools. In addition to careers as researchers and educators, our graduates enjoy various and wide-ranged careers, such as positions as poets, novelists, critics, broadcasting writers, advertisement copywriters, broadcasting producer/directors, newspaper reporters, theatre actors and actresses, publishing planners, public relations experts, and Korean language educators. The professional and creative performances of our graduates have played a central role in the advancement of Korean society, raising the status of our Department every day. Based on this encouraging trend, the proud history of performance at the Korea University Department of Korean Language and Literature is expected to continue and grow.