Call for Papers: Power and Dissent

Kyujanggak symposiumThe 9th Kyu­jang­gak Sym­po­sium for Kore­an Stud­ies is seek­ing pan­el pro­pos­als on the theme of “Pow­er and Dis­sent.” The Sym­po­sium will take place August 18–19, 2016, at the Kyu­jang­gak Insti­tute for Kore­an Stud­ies, Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty. Indi­vid­ual papers will also be con­sid­ered, pro­vid­ed they can be mean­ing­ful­ly grouped in a pan­el or attached to one of the orga­nized pan­els. Pro­pos­als (con­tain­ing short abstract of the pan­el and of the panel’s indi­vid­ual papers, as well as a short cur­ricu­lum vitae of the orga­niz­er) should be sent to by Feb­ru­ary 25, 2016.

Below is a short descrip­tion of the con­fer­ence theme; pan­els will be cho­sen on the basis of their intrin­sic mer­it and on their rel­e­vance to the con­fer­ence top­ic.

The prac­tice of dissent—the pub­lic objec­tion to deci­sions or actions by those in power—has long held a sig­nif­i­cant place in Kore­an polit­i­cal and social life. Although the con­cept of protest is per­haps most read­i­ly asso­ci­at­ed in Kore­an stud­ies with the protest move­ments against author­i­tar­i­an gov­ern­ments in South Korea, the phe­nom­e­non of indi­vid­ual or col­lec­tive oppo­si­tion to author­i­ty has notable his­tor­i­cal prece­dents as well as con­tem­po­rary man­i­fes­ta­tions that reflect chang­ing rela­tions of pow­er with­in Kore­an soci­ety over time. In con­sid­er­ing present-day social protests and oth­er forms of resis­tance, what con­trasts, par­al­lels, or impli­ca­tions can be drawn regard­ing, for exam­ple, the Choson-era sys­tem of peti­tions that afford­ed ordi­nary peo­ple an offi­cial­ly sanc­tioned venue to express their griev­ances and suf­fer­ing? What is the place of dis­sent­ing pub­lic opin­ion in Korea’s past and con­tem­po­rary con­texts? How has dis­sent his­tor­i­cal­ly pre­vailed as a force of influ­ence in Kore­an polit­i­cal or social life, or how has it been man­aged or con­tained? What insights drawn from stud­ies of ear­li­er peasant- and labor protest move­ments may shed light on recent rur­al and urban resis­tance strug­gles against neolib­er­al eco­nom­ic poli­cies? What is the rela­tion­ship between dis­sent and Kore­an moder­ni­ty? What is the role of the arts or reli­gion in the cri­tique of pow­er? How have dis­si­dent Kore­an visu­al and lit­er­ary artists, musi­cians, reli­gious lead­ers, or oth­er cul­tur­al fig­ures made inter­ven­tions in pub­lic life that con­tributed toward social change or rec­on­cil­i­a­tion of social con­flict?

The pri­ma­ry require­ment for pro­pos­als is that they reflect crit­i­cal­ly on how pow­er and author­i­ty have been chal­lenged in Kore­an soci­ety present and past. The sec­ond main char­ac­ter­is­tic sought in pro­pos­als is that they for­mu­late ways in which Kore­an stud­ies can con­tribute to cur­rent debates in Kore­an soci­ety. Par­tic­u­lar­ly wel­come are pro­pos­als that not only endeav­or to ana­lyze, but also look toward ways of over­com­ing cur­rent prob­lems and divi­sions.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the Sym­po­sium, con­sult