Korean Communication Research and Practice: Looking Back, Looking Forward


During past decades, Korean communication scholars have established a solid international reputation in communication research. Although a substantial body of communication research has appeared in English, subfields of communication studies have tended to develop independently. A conference to be held at Center for Korean Studies July 27-28, 2017, aims to gather and assess the accumulated research in all subfields in order to identify critical gaps in current scholarship and point the way for future research.

Korean Communication Conference

The conference, titled “Korean Communication Research and Practice: Looking Back, Looking Forward,” was organized by Center for Korean Studies faculty member Ji Young Kim of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Communications. The stated goals of the conference are to critically evaluate the existing scholarship on Korean communication in key topic areas; carry on a dialogue about the gaps in the current research literature; and to exchange ideas and perspectives about the future directions of communication research about Korea.

Nearly two dozen communication specialists from universities in Korea, the United States, and Canada will present papers in the broad areas of communication and society; public communication; digital media and community; and culture/visual communication. Specific topics touch on communication law, political communication, journalism, health communication, public relations, advertising, digital games, and cinema, among others.

Kwan M. LeeThe conference will begin on Thursday morning with a keynote speech by Kwan Min Lee, Korea Foundation Professor of Contemporary Korean Society and New Media in the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His speech, “User Experience (UX) Research and Practice in South Korea,” is scheduled to begin at 9:20 a.m.

On Friday afternoon, the conference will wrap up with a panel discussion on the future of Korean communication featuring five of the conference participants: Seungahn Nah and Kyu Ho Youm of the University of Oregon, Hye-Ryeon Lee of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Nojin Kwak of the University of Michigan, and Dal Yong Jin of Simon Fraser University.

Sponsors of the conference include the Center for Korean Studies and the College of Social Sciences of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan with support from the Core University Program for Korean Studies through the Republic of Korea Ministry of Education and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies; the Korean American Communication Association; the Centre for Policy Research on Science and Technology at Simon Fraser University; and the School of Journalism and Communication of the University of Oregon.

Attendance at the conference is open to the public without cost. The schedule of conference presentations can be found on line here. Inquiries about the program should be directed to the conference organizer, Prof. Ji Young Kim, at jkim22@hawaii.edu.

Textbook for the Language of Jeju Island Published

Jejueo 1 cover image

Within the last few years, several international groups (UNESCO, Ethnologue, and the Endangered Languages Project) have recognized that Jejueo, the variety of speech indigenous to Jeju Island, is an independent language, not a dialect of Korean.

Jejueo is critically endangered, with only a few thousand elderly fluent speakers, but efforts to preserve and revitalize it are underway. A new Web site (https://sites.google.com/a/hawaii.edu/jejueo/) presents up-to-date information on the language and on efforts to save it.

Jejueo 1 sample pageOne of the most important revitalization projects has just reached a major milestone, with the publication on July 5 of the first volume in a projected four-volume textbook series for Korean-speaking learners of Jejueo. Jejueo 1 consists of fifteen chapters, each with practice exercises and an accompanying set of downloadable audio files. It can be obtained from the Kyobo Web site.

The volume was prepared by a committee of three authors: Changyong Yang, professor in the College of Education at Jeju National University; Sejung Yang, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; and William O’Grady, UH Mānoa professor of linguistics and a member of the Center for Korean Studies.

The work was supported by the Core University Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2015-OLU-2250005).

An Interview with Korean Studies Editor Christopher J. Bae

Christopher J. BaeThe University of Hawai‘i Press Journals Department has published on on-line interview with the new editor of Korean Studies, Prof. Christopher J. Bae.

Bae, a University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa professor of anthropology, recently became chair of the Center for Korean Studies Publications Committee and with that became also the editor of the Center’s journal and manager of its book series.

In the interview, Bae talks briefly about the history and scope of the journal, published continuously since 1977, and about its prospects under his editorship. The University of Hawai‘i Press is co-publisher of Korean Studies and of the Center’s book series, Hawai‘i Studies on Korea, initiated in 2000 and now numbering fifteen titles.

The full text of the interview can be found on the UH Press Journals Department blog.

See the Center for Korean Studies Web site for more information about Korean Studies and the Hawai‘i Studies on Korea book series.

Call for Papers: Identity and Transnational Mobility

Goethe University Frankfurt
Korean Studies at Goethe-University of Frankfurt invites proposals for presentations to be delivered at an international conference, “Identity and Transnational Mobility In and Out of Korea,” February 22-23, 2018. The conference will examine important socioeconomic aspects of transnational mobility in and out of Korea as well as the process in which overseas Koreans and migrants in South Korea gain agency and negotiate multiple identities.

Proposals are welcome for papers on all aspects of identity and transnational mobility in and out of Korea, including, but not limited to, transnational mobility/migration and belonging in historical and contemporary contexts, media consumption and ICTs in transnational migration, issues concerning migrants in South Korea, and Korean diaspora and ethnic return migration.

Prospective participants should submit a proposal including an abstract of three hundred words and a curriculum vitae and to Mi-Jeong Jo at jo@em.uni-frankfurt.de and Professor Yonson Ahn at y.ahn@em.uni-frankfurt.de. Proposals are due by August 20, 2017. Successful applicants will be notified by September 24 and will be required to submit a full paper (5,500–7,000 words including bibliography and endnotes) by December 31, 2017.

Selected papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication as part of an edited volume. The selected papers will be required to consider comments and discussion made during the conference and must be submitted by mid-April, 2018.

The conference is sponsored by the Academy of Korean Studies, the Republic of Korea Ministry of Education, and Goethe-University of Frankfurt.

Questions regarding the conference should be directed to Mi-Jeong Jo.

SSRC 2017 Korean Studies Dissertation Workshop Scheduled for August

SSRC dissertation workshop
The 2017 Social Science Research Council (SSRC) Korean Studies Dissertation Workshop will take place August 11-15 at the Hilton Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. The workshop is intended to create a network of advanced graduate students and faculty by providing an opportunity for exchange of critical feedback on dissertations in progress. Twelve students will be selected to work with three faculty members during the program.

The workshop invites applications from students in all fields in the social sciences and humanities who have not yet begun fieldwork, who are currently in the field, or who are in the process of writing their dissertations.

Full-time advanced graduate students, regardless of citizenship, are eligible to participate in the workshop. Applicants must have ABD (all but dissertation) status and an approved dissertation prospectus at the time of application, but cannot have completed writing for final submission. Special consideration will be given to students from universities that are not major Korean studies institutions. The deadline for applications is June 15, 2017.

This year’s faculty mentors are Suzy Kim of Rutgers University; Robert Oppenheim of the University of Texas, Austin; and Youngju Ryu of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

To the extent its budget allows, SSRC will cover all travel to the workshop and will fully cover participants’ lodging and meals for the duration of the workshop. The Academy of Korean Studies is providing funding for the program.

For further information about the workshop, see http://www.ssrc.org/fellowships/view/ksdw/ or contact the Social Science Research Council at 300 Cadman Plaza West, 15th Floor, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201.

For the application form and related instructions, see https://s3.amazonaws.com/ssrc-cdn2/2017-ksdw-application-5900e9221d5c4.pdf.