ASIAN 277 - From Truman to Trump: Introduction to US-Korea Relations
Fall 2023, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Asian Studies (ASIAN)
Department: LSA Asian Languages & Cultures
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:
Start/End Date:
Full Term 8/28/23 - 12/6/23 (see other Sections below)
NOTE: Drop/Add deadlines are dependent on the class meeting dates and will differ for full term versus partial term offerings.
For information on drop/add deadlines, see the Office of the Registrar and search Registration Deadlines.


Ever wonder why some protesters in South Korea wave the Star-Spangled Banner while others set it on fire? Or why the wartime operational control of the South Korean military still rests with the US, almost seventy years after the Korean War? How did the US president “fall in love” with the North Korean leader in 2018 and why did this brief bromance fall apart?

ASIAN/AMCULT 277 is a course that reflects on America's place in the rapidly changing world through the lens of its engagements with the two Koreas. Behind the bewildering questions in the headlines lies a complex political history that spans more than a century. We will focus on the seventy-year period stretching from Harry Truman’s presidency to Donald Trump’s, during which the US played a decisive role in dividing the Korean peninsula in half, fought a catastrophic war on the Korean soil, and emerged as both South Korea’s most important ally and North Korea’s enemy number one. In thus “shaping” Korea, the US was shaped irrevocably in turn, even if the full impact on America of these engagements were not always acknowledged or even realized.

The most conventional approaches to understanding this history have been political and/or economic, but our course will provide a more nuanced and multilayered overview by pairing history readings with thematically focused works of fiction and film. We will also examine primary sources including government documents, and learn to critically compare contrasting interpretations of historical events. A particular emphasis will be placed on examining under-questioned American assumptions about its place in the world. We will also pay close attention to how Koreans have perceived the underlying patterns structuring the relations between the US and the two Koreas from the end of WWII to the present, and how such perceptions continue to shape Korean society today.

Intended Audience:

Students at all levels interested in Korean history, East Asian history, US history, and international relations

Class Format:

Two 90-minute lectures in addition to 1-hour discussion section weekly


ASIAN 277 - From Truman to Trump: Introduction to US-Korea Relations
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
002 (DIS)
 In Person
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23
003 (DIS)
 In Person
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
8/28/23 - 12/6/23

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for ASIAN 277.001

View/Buy Textbooks


Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for ASIAN 277 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)