The Anthropology Department at Seoul National University invites proposals for presentations at the “Global Korean Studies and Writing Korean Culture” conference. The conference will be held September 22–23, 2017, and will be conducted in English and Korean.
This conference aims to critically engage the notion of Korean culture and to reflect on what has been at stake in producing knowledge about it, from within Korea and from outside, for Koreans and for non-Koreans. Where does “Korean culture” begin and end, who is included and excluded, and who gets to decide?
Proposals are sought for conceptual, analytical, methodological, and ethnographic papers that inquire into the politics of writing (about) Korean culture today, from different locales inside and outside South Korea. What have been the theoretical and methodological challenges particular to local or international scholars researching Korean culture? How have scholars accounted for—or failed to account for—their different relations to Korea? How have Koreanists responded to pressures from national and commercial interests that fund research on Korea? How do we orient scholarship on Korean culture away from Western concerns and toward local issues without subordinating scholarship to nationalist agendas or sacrificing the intellectual relevance for the larger academic community?
Some possible topics include:
- Contemporary discourses on Korean culture and Koreanness in academia and beyond
- Constructions of otherness in/of Korean culture
- Orientalism and self-orientalism
- Writing about Korean culture while moving away from the nation-state optic
- “Natives,” “foreigners,” and other authorial positions on Korean culture
- Politics of fieldwork in Korea for Korean and non-Korean researchers
- Audiences of Korean culture scholarship in Korea and abroad, their investments, desires, and demands
- Politics of knowledge production, in anthropology and area studies, as it relates to Korean culture
- Institutional determinants of research on Korean culture: funding agencies, ethics review boards, globalizing universities
- Feminist and queer perspectives on Korean culture
- Publicly engaged scholarship and Korean culture
- Autoethnography and other experimental writing on Korean culture.
The keynote speakers at the conference will be Laurel Kendall of Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History and Jeong Duk Yi of Chonbuk National University.
To apply for consideration, submit a three-hundred-word abstract, three keywords, and a brief biographical note to Olga Fedorenko and Yoonhee Kang at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 7, 2017. Selected participants will be asked to submit fully developed papers to discussants by August 17, 2017. English-language papers presented at the conference will be considered for inclusion in a special issue of an academic journal.
Out-of-town presenters will be offered lodging on the Seoul National University campus or nearby. There are also limited funds to cover travel expenses for international participants.