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Introduction: History

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Chapter Summary

The study of history occupies a special place at School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) since the department of history is the only one in the UK devoted to the historical study of Asia and Africa. These are both areas of the globe with particularly complex relationships with their colonial past, and where historical research has been mobilized to explain the contrasting trajectories of different countries. Historical research into Korea's complex and often controversial past has been a cornerstone of the Centre of Korean Studies (CKS). The stress has been firmly on Korea's pre-modern history, and all three full-time historians who have been employed at SOAS have emerged from a pre-modern background. One particular historical era that has consistently attracted enquiry has been the late nineteenth century, particularly the period immediately after the opening of Korea to western and Japanese imperialism.

Keywords: Centre of Korean Studies (CKS); Japanese imperialism; Korea's pre-modern history; SOAS; UK



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