Exploring Seoul: Geography of the City

Hanyang University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Exploring Seoul: Geography of the City

  • Host University

    Hanyang University

  • Location

    Seoul, South Korea

  • Area of Study

    Asian Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview


    This course will get us out of the classroom and into the city as we explore the sights and sounds, and nooks and crannies, of one of the most fascinating cities on earth. For geographers, what does it mean to “read the cultural landscape” of a place? What stories can the buildings and design of a city tell us about the culture, past and present of the people who live there? Lectures and course readings will connect to weekly tours of the city, organized by theme, that will teach us not just about the past and present of our incredible host city, but about new ways of seeing, and understanding, the urban world in which we live. At the end of the class, students will present their own themed photo essay of some aspect of the cultural landscape of Seoul.


    (1) Students will develop an understanding of the geographic practice of “reading the cultural landscape” of a place through a series of readings, lectures and tours that explore contemporary Seoul as a museum of Korean culture, history, and ongoing processes of globalization


    (2) Students will be able to recognize three distinctive phases of architecture and urban development in Seoul: colonial, developmental, and transition to globalization, and connect these periods of design and development to distinctive shifts and developments in Korean culture

    (3) By the end of the course, students will demonstrate their ability to “read the cultural landscape” by presenting a photo essay that explores some aspect of the cultural landscape of contemporary Seoul

    (4) Students will develop their abilities to engage in critical thinking and effective communication.


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