Summer 2017

Summer 2017 Study Abroad Program to Seoul, South Korea

Duration: June 3, 2017 – June 17, 2017

Theme: Two Koreas: Identities, Division, and Economic Differences


Professor Jisoo M. Kim (

Professor Miok Pak (


What is the political meaning of the 38th parallel to Koreans living in the South and the North? How did it become such an impenetrable border when it was intended to be a temporary line back in 1945? How did the border affect Koreans before and after the Korean War? How did this division affect the economic growth and how is the economic situation different in both countries? How did people cross the border before demilitarized zone (DMZ) was created right after the Korean War? While Koreans have shared the same identity for thousands of years, how did it diverge since 1945? If reunification were to occur, do you think it would be possible for North Koreans to successfully integrate to the South Korean society?

By visiting various sites in South Korea, we will use the border as a lens into exploring three main themes: Korean identities, division, reunification, and economic difference between the Koreas. We will treat these themes not as mutually exclusive but constitutive entities. Thus, these three themes will be reflected in readings, discussions, on-site lectures, and site-visits. In addition, the concept of the border will be the prime into the larger political, economic, social, and cultural conditions that enabled its metamorphosis. In particular, we will trace the transnational processes of modernization, imperialism, colonization, the Cold War, decolonization, and neoliberalism that have shaped and continue to shape Korean identity and culture. Our interdisciplinary inquiry draws from history, literature, anthropology, business, film, media, and performance studies.

Program Syllabus: Summer 2017 Study Abroad Program

*Please note that this is not a credit-bearing program.


Check out:

Read about the Summer 2017 Study Abroad Program


Student Portfolio Presentation

Summer Program Panel: Information Session


GW is committed to digital accessibility. If you experience a barrier that affects your ability to access content on this page, let us know via the Accessibility Feedback Form.