Book Recommendations from SEAS Programme Leads

We have put together a helpful reading list for students we will be welcoming in September.

Student Writing

Please note students do not have to read any material before they come to Sheffield.

Korean Studies - Pick from Dr Sarah Son, Korean Studies Programme Lead

Flowers of Fire - Hawon Jung


Flowers of Fire takes the reader into the trenches of the fight for equality, following along as South Korean activists march on the streets, navigate public and private spaces where spycam porn crimes are rampant, and share tips and tricks with each other as they learn how to protect themselves from harassment and how to push authorities to act. Jung, the former Seoul correspondent for the AFP, draws on her on-the-ground reporting and interviews with many women who became activists and leaders, from the elite prosecutor who ignited the country’s #MeToo movement to the young women who led the war against non-consensual photography.

Chinese Studies - Pick from Dr Marjorie Dryburgh, Chinese Studies Programme Lead

China in Ten Words- Yu Hua


People. Leader. Reading. Writing. Revolution. Grassroots. Through these and other common vernacular words and phrases, Yu Hua - widely regarded as one of China's greatest living writers - tells powerful personal stories of the Chinese experience from the Cultural Revolution to the 2010s. With wit, insight and courage, he presents a refreshingly candid vision of the 'Chinese miracle' and its consequences, and a unique perspective on one of the world's least understood nations.

Japanese Studies - Pick from Dr Nozomi Uematsu, Japanese Studies Programme Lead

Convenience Store Woman - Murata Sayaka (Translated by Ginny Takemori) 


Meet Keiko. Keiko is 36 years old. She's never had a boyfriend, and she's been working in the same supermarket for eighteen years. Keiko's family wishes she'd get a proper job. Her friends wonder why she won't get married. But Keiko knows what makes her happy, and she's not going to let anyone come between her and her convenience store...

East Asian Studies - Pick from Dr Zhong Zhang, East Asian Studies Programme Lead

The Untold History of Ramen - George Holt

Ramen's popularity can be attributed to political and economic change on a global scale. Using declassified U.S. government documents and an array of Japanese sources, Solt reveals how the creation of a black market for American wheat imports during the U.S. occupation of Japan (1945-1952), the reindustrialization of Japan's labor force during the Cold War, and the elevation of working-class foods in redefining national identity during the past two decades of economic stagnation (1990s-2000s), all contributed to the establishment of ramen as a national dish.

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