Universiteit Leiden

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Rahel Plassen

PhD candidate

R. Plassen
+31 71 527 7402

Rahel Plassen is a lecturer and PhD candidate at the Institute for Area Studies.

More information about Rahel Plassen

PhD research

The dissertation project aims to produce a systematic description of the development of Koryŏ’s
diplomatic correspondence with the Chinese Song (960-1279). Close scrutiny of the diplomatic
correspondence on a text by text basis will allow for a more nuanced understanding of the
evolvement of the tradition of Koryŏ-Song diplomatic exchange as such and contribute to our
understanding of the underlying political and cultural issues.
While diplomatic correspondence in East Asia drew upon highly ritualized elements following
traditional precedents, it also needed to adequately respond to and anticipate contemporary
developments. For example, the Song state’s rise to hegemony during the Five Dynasties and Ten
Kingdoms period necessitated the writing of investiture documents and a re-negotiation and finetuning
of conventionalized expressions and tropes to shifting centers of power. At the same time,
however, it were these very documents which constructed the evolving new political landscape. In
order to gain proper access to the historical realities, it is necessary to move in hermeneutic
circles between the inquiry into the sources and a critical re-assessment of what we believe to
know of the historical context.

Supervisors: Prof. dr. Remco Breuker, Prof. dr. Yo-Keun Jeong (SNU)



  • 02/2018 - 02/2021 Master of Arts
    Korean History, Seoul National University
  • 09/2016 - 02/2017
    Exchange student, National Taiwan University
  • 10/2014 - 02/2018 Bachelor of Arts
    Korean and Chinese Studies, Ruhr-University Bochum

PhD candidate

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Korea

No relevant ancillary activities

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