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Korean Language and Literature Department

The Department of Korean Language and Literature at the Central University of Nationalities (hereafter the Korean Department) developed from the Korean Language and Literature major, which was established in 1972 at the Central Institute of Nationalities, and was not upgraded into the Korean Department until 1992.

The Korean Language and Literature Major is one of the key national subjects and one of talent education and science research bases for basic sciences in China. It includes two undergraduate programs (the Korean language and literature; Chinese- Korean business translation), four graduate programs (contrastive studies of Chinese and Korean; Korean classical literature studies; DPRK and ROK contemporary literature studies; studies of Korean nationality literature in China) and two post-graduate programs (language contrast and translation studies; Korean classical literature studies). In addition, we have a training program offering the courses to achieve a masters degree in Korean language and literature. Altogether, there are 240 students in the department.

Under the guidance of the higher committee of the Communist Party and the administrative authority, the Korean department has developed for over 30 years and now it is an independent teaching organization full of life and spares no effort in contributing to the construction of the country and the ethnic education career of the Party.

This department currently has 13 faculties, including 5 professors, 2 associate professors, 3 lecturers and 3 administrative staff. As far as education background is concerned, 6 are doctors; 4 are studying for doctoral degrees and 3 have masters degrees. It is one of the few departments where more than half of the teachers are doctors or doctors-to-be. In addition, it has 5 professors employed from the ROK and a dozen visiting scholars from other universities. The department has a Korean Language Section, a Korean Literature Section, an Office of the Party and League Affairs, an Office of Teaching and Administrative Affairs and a Library.

The teachers in the department have rich teaching experience and a large number of research achievements. In the past decades, they published 100 monographs, over 30 translated works and complied works, and approximately 500 high-quality academic articles. Among them, 9 monographs and articles won awards at or above provincial and ministerial level; 3 major works of fictions won national creative prizes; 3 medium-length novels won creative prizes at provincial or ministerial level. In past years, a department member was the member of the Academic Subject Evaluation Committee under the State Council; one won the title of “Woman Pace Setter”; one was awarded the title of “Excellent Teacher in Beijing”; two won the title of “Leading Young Teachers in Beijing”; two won the Dongchong Prize – the highest academic prize in the ROK; one won a Bao Guan Cultural Medal from the ROK; two won the award of “Bao Gang Excellent Teacher”. In addition, the department has a library with over 20,000 books and dictionaries, and video materials, which provide effective aids to the teaching and research activities.

The department attaches much importance to language contrast and translation theories as well as literary theories and creative work with the purpose of cultivating talent with high capabilities in writing, translating, and researching. Students graduated from the department have been employed as teachers, researchers, editors, journalists, translators and secretaries, and have taken the jobs related to their majors.

The students of the department come from the three North-eastern provinces and Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region. The number of the courses for undergraduates majoring in Korean language and literature is altogether 50, including a general introduction to linguistics, modern Chinese, modern Korean, classical Korean, contrastive studies between Chinese and Korean, Korean stylistics, a general introduction to literature, the history of Chinese classical literature, the history of contemporary Chinese literature, the history of classical Korean literature, the history of contemporary Korean literature, the history of Korean nationality literature in China, the history of foreign literature, translation theories and practice, reading selected works and writing, news writing, the history of DPRK, the history of DPRK culture, application of computers, foreign languages etc.. The courses for undergraduates specializing in C-K and K-C translation in economics and trade totals up to more than 50, including modern Chinese, Korean grammar, contrastive studies between Chinese and Korean, translation theories, C-K and K-C translation in economics and trade, reading selected works and writing, business writing in Chinese and Korean, a general introduction to economics, a general introduction to the ROK economy, international trade, tourist service protocol and management, the history of ROK literature, the history of Chinese literature, application of computers, and foreign languages.

Since the establishment of the department, 682 students have graduated. Among them, 568 students in 24 grades have achieved bachelor’s degrees; 80 students in 3 grades have received junior college degrees; 34 students have gained masters degrees. 2 classes won the award of “excellent classes in Beijing”; 2 classes won championships and second place in the university military training; 10 students won the second or third places in the national Japanese Speech Contest in different years; 17 students won the first or second place in the national Korean Speech Contest in different years. In addition, the department organized the Chao Wen Cup Football Match on campus and won the championship for three years running.

The graduates from the department can be found in the United States, UK, Japan, ROK, Australia, and three North-eastern provinces, Guangdong, Shandong, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and other cities in China. They are working as teachers, researchers, publishers, broadcasters, TV reporters or working in the institutions of judicature, administration, intelligence, tourism, foreign trade, business management or libraries. Among them, 22 achieved doctoral degrees after graduation from the department, occupying 3.85% of the total number of the original graduates with bachelors degrees; 68 achieved master’s degrees after graduation, occupying 11.9%; considering 25 are studying for doctoral degrees and 22 for master’s degrees, the two percentages may rise to 8.2% and 15.7%. Among the graduates from the department, about 56 are working in universities and research organizations in China; over 40 working for newspapers, magazines, publishing presses, broadcasting stations or translation bureaus; over 50 in institutions of administration or judicature; 21 in Chinese enterprises; 27 in foreign funded enterprises; 96 in private enterprises. Among them, 10 are directors of bureaus; 50 are heads of division offices and many of them are successful entrepreneurs. In short, most of the graduates have been part of the mainstay of our society and are contributing to the construction of our country.

The objective of the department is to build up 4 leading research centers in the world in 30-40 years, that is, the Center of Research in Contrast and Translation between Chinese and Korean, the Research Center of Korean Literature in China, the Center of Research in the Contrast between DPRK Literature and ROK Literature, the Center of Research in the Contrast between Chinese, Japanese and Korean Cultures. This is a hard but glorious task and all the members of the department are required to work together to accomplish it.

Besides teaching offices, the department has a Center of Research in DPRK and ROK with 30 researchers consisting of faculties in this department and other departments, and renowned scholars from home and abroad. Under the center are 6 research sections studying linguistics, literature, history, philosophy, religion, ethnic groups, education, and art. This center has produce 14 collections of academic articles, one for each year. The 252 articles in the collections have received good reviews from society.

In recent years, the department with its research center has held “International Conference on Contrastive Studies of Language and Literature between the DPRK and ROK” 6 times, and has carried out a number of research projects with other countries and national “985” projects, constructed “qualified courses” and conducted various other reforms, achieving several international, provincial or ministerial prizes.

Facing the new challenges in the new era and under Deng Xiaoping’s and former Premier Zhu’s guiding words, that is, “education should face modernization, the world and the future” and “the Central University of Nationalities is expected to become a first class ethnic university”, all the faculty and students of the department are united together and working hard to build our department into a top class department in the national key subjects while preserving its own characteristics.