Lecture: Postwar Korean Photography

Photo of Joan Kee, who will lecture on Korean photograpyArt his­to­ri­an Joan Kee of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan will present a lec­ture on devel­op­ments in Kore­an pho­tog­ra­phy in the post­war era at the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Mon­day, Novem­ber 6, 2017. The UH Manoa Depart­ment of Art and Art His­to­ry is co-spon­sor of the lec­ture. It will begin at 3:00 p.m.

The prac­tice of pho­tog­ra­phy in post­war Korea was shaped around the twin­ning of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment with state-pro­mot­ed “tra­di­tion,” through images pro­duced through pho­to­jour­nal­ism as well as for those tapped for inclu­sion in the annu­al gov­ern­ment art salon, the Kukjŏn. This lec­ture will dis­cuss a crit­i­cal mass of pho­tog­ra­phers who came of pro­fes­sion­al age in the 1960s and sought to open a dif­fer­ent kind of space, one requir­ing a deep­er and more sin­gu­lar invest­ment from audi­ences than mere acknowl­edg­ment or even sym­pa­thy.

Con­cen­trat­ing on the pho­tographs of Jun Min-cho, Yook Myung-shim, and Joo Myung-duk, Kee will con­sid­er the pur­suit of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty as an alter­na­tive means of devel­op­ment beyond that endorsed by polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al elites look­ing to human­ize the state’s relent­less push for mate­r­i­al progress.

photo by Yook Myung-shim as an example of postwar Korean photography

Yook Myung-shim. Seoul, Korea. 1969.

Joan Kee is an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor in the his­to­ry of art at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan. She spe­cial­izes in art and law with a spe­cial research focus on mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary East and South­east Asian art, par­tic­u­lar­ly that of Korea. Kee is author of Con­tem­po­rary Kore­an Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2013); curat­ed the exhi­bi­tion From All Sides: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014); and serves as a con­tribut­ing edi­tor to Art­fo­rum.

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies events are free and open to all. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter at (808) 956‑7041.

Biography Brown Bag: The Secret Operations of the Yodogō Exiles

Destiny coverUniver­si­ty of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa soci­ol­o­gy pro­fes­sor Patri­cia G. Stein­hoff will dis­cuss the new­ly trans­lat­ed book Des­tiny: The Secret Oper­a­tions of the Yodogō Exiles in a brown-bag lunch-time ses­sion on Thurs­day, Octo­ber 19, 2017.

The pro­gram, spon­sored by the Cen­ter for Bio­graph­i­cal Research, will take place in Kuyk­endall 409A from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.

In 1970, nine mem­bers of a Japan­ese New Left group called the Red Army Fac­tion hijacked a domes­tic air­lin­er to North Korea intend­ing to acquire the mil­i­tary train­ing to bring about a rev­o­lu­tion in Japan. The North Kore­an gov­ern­ment accept­ed the hijackers—who became known in the media as the Yodogō group—and two years lat­er they announced their con­ver­sion to the North Kore­an juche polit­i­cal ide­ol­o­gy.

Des­tiny: The Secret Oper­a­tions of the Yodogō Exiles by Kōji Takaza­wa tells the sto­ry of how Takaza­wa exposed the Yodogō group’s involve­ment in the kid­nap­ping and lur­ing of sev­er­al young Japan­ese to North Korea, as well as the truth behind their Japan­ese wives’ pres­ence in the coun­try. Takazawa’s research was val­i­dat­ed in 2002, when the North Kore­an gov­ern­ment pub­licly acknowl­edged it had kid­napped thir­teen Japan­ese cit­i­zens dur­ing the 1970s and 1980s, includ­ing three peo­ple whom Takaza­wa had con­nect­ed to the Yodogō hijack­ers.

In this talk, Stein­hoff will trace the sto­ry of the Yodogō exiles in North Korea, Takazawa’s involve­ment in their sto­ry and his work of inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism, and how Stein­hoff came to edit the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of his book.

For more infor­ma­tion, tele­phone (808) 956‑3774, send e-mail to biograph@hawaii.edu, or vis­it http://www.facebook.com/CBRHawaii.

Korea’s Great Transformation and Hagen Koo’s Sociological Journey

Hagen KooIn the past half cen­tu­ry, South Korea has trans­formed itself from a poor agri­cul­tur­al coun­try into a high­ly indus­tri­al­ized and glob­al­ized soci­ety.

Through­out this trans­for­ma­tion, Hagen Koo, pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i at Mānoa, has been study­ing and writ­ing about the remark­able social changes Korea has expe­ri­enced.

Now, on the eve of his retire­ment, Pro­fes­sor Koo will offer a lec­ture reflect­ing on his past research endeav­ors and the trends of soci­o­log­i­cal the­o­ries that have influ­enced his work.

He will speak May 11, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. in the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies audi­to­ri­um.

Hagen KooHagen Koo is a grad­u­ate of Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty and received his Ph.D. in soci­ol­o­gy at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty in 1974. His asso­ci­a­tion with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i start­ed the fol­low­ing year. Then a fac­ul­ty mem­ber at Mem­phis State Uni­ver­si­ty, he par­tic­i­pat­ed in the sec­ond major con­fer­ence staged by the recent­ly cre­at­ed UH Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies, a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary con­fer­ence on South Korea. Koo sub­se­quent­ly spent the 1978‒1979 aca­d­e­m­ic year at Mānoa as a vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor in the Soci­ol­o­gy Depart­ment, and in 1981 he joined the UH fac­ul­ty.

The author of numer­ous arti­cles and chap­ters in his field, he has also pro­duced notable books. His Kore­an Work­ers: The Cul­ture and Pol­i­tics of Class For­ma­tion (Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 2001) won the Amer­i­can Soci­o­log­i­cal Association’s award for the most dis­tin­guished book pub­lished on Asia dur­ing 2001‒2003. The book has been trans­lat­ed into Kore­an, Chi­nese, Japan­ese, and Thai.

Oth­er works include the edit­ed vol­umes State and Soci­ety in Con­tem­po­rary Korea (Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty Press, 1993) and (with Kim Keong-il and Kim Jun) Mod­ern Kore­an Labor: A Source­book (Acad­e­my of Kore­an Stud­ies Press, 2015).

Koo describes his cur­rent research as being focused on the nature of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment and neolib­er­al glob­al­iza­tion in East Asia. In par­tic­u­lar, he is inter­est­ed in the ways struc­tur­al changes gen­er­ate new forms of class inequal­i­ty and insti­tu­tion­al changes in East Asian soci­eties.

He is cur­rent­ly work­ing on a book ten­ta­tive­ly titled Cos­mopoli­tan Anx­i­ety: South Korea’s Glob­al­ized Mid­dle Class in which he is explor­ing “the ways the South Kore­an mid­dle class has changed sig­nif­i­cant­ly as a con­se­quence of neolib­er­al globalization—from a rel­a­tive­ly homo­ge­neous and upward­ly mobile class to an inter­nal­ly polar­ized, anx­i­ety rid­den, and polit­i­cal­ly unpre­dictable class.”

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies events are free and open to all. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter at (808) 956‑7041. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action Insti­tu­tion.

Children’s Literature in Modern Korea

Zur book coverStan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Kore­an lit­er­a­ture spe­cial­ist Daf­na Zur will explore the emer­gence and devel­op­ment of writ­ing for chil­dren in mod­ern Korea in a lec­ture at the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Fri­day, April 7, 2017. Zur’s talk will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Center’s con­fer­ence room. In her pre­sen­ta­tion, she will elab­o­rate on the research she did for her forth­com­ing book, Fig­ur­ing Kore­an Futures: Children’s Lit­er­a­ture in Mod­ern Korea. The book will be pub­lished lat­er this year by Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press.

Zur’s research exam­ined children’s peri­od­i­cals against the polit­i­cal, edu­ca­tion­al, and psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­cours­es of their time. She found that the fig­ure of the child was par­tic­u­lar­ly favor­able to the project of moder­ni­ty and nation-build­ing, as well as to the colo­nial and post-colo­nial projects of social­iza­tion and nation­al­iza­tion. Accord­ing to her study, Kore­an children’s lit­er­a­ture has built on a tra­jec­to­ry that begins with the child as an organ­ic part of nature and ends, in the post-colo­nial era, with the child as the pri­ma­ry agent of con­trol of nature. The fig­ure of the child became a dri­ving force of nos­tal­gia that stood in for future aspi­ra­tions for the indi­vid­ual, fam­i­ly, class, and nation.

Dafna Zur photoDaf­na Zur is an assis­tant pro­fes­sor in the East Asian Lan­guages and Cul­tures Depart­ment at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, where she teach­es cours­es on Kore­an lit­er­a­ture, cin­e­ma, and pop­u­lar cul­ture. She earned her doc­tor­ate at the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia and has pub­lished arti­cles on North Kore­an sci­ence fic­tion, the Kore­an War in children’s lit­er­a­ture of North and South Korea, Kore­an folk tales, and child­hood in cin­e­ma. Her trans­la­tions have been pub­lished in wordwithoutborders.org, The Colum­bia Anthol­o­gy of Mod­ern Kore­an Short Sto­ries, Aza­lea, Asia Lit­er­ary Review, and Wax­en Wings.

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies events are free and open to all. This pre­sen­ta­tion is 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). For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies at (808) 956‑7041. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action Insti­tu­tion.

Expired: From Miracle to Mirage: The Korean Middle Class

Myungji YangMyungji Yang, assis­tant pro­fes­sor in the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Depart­ment of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence, will trace fifty years of devel­op­ment of the mid­dle class in South Korea in a lec­ture at the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Thurs­day, April 6, 2017. The lec­ture, titled “From Mir­a­cle to Mirage: The Mak­ing and Unmak­ing of the Kore­an Mid­dle Class, 1960–2010,” will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Center’s con­fer­ence room.

Eco­nom­ic growth has estab­lished com­fort­able mid­dle-class lifestyles as a norm in South Korea. Despite this suc­cess, Yang says, few­er peo­ple are iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves as mem­bers of the mid­dle class. Many per­ceive that their stan­dard of liv­ing has dete­ri­o­rat­ed and that the pos­si­bil­i­ty of upward mobil­i­ty is declin­ing.

In her talk, Yang will exam­ine the puz­zle of why the mid­dle class that was both cause and con­se­quence of Korea’s eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment seems to have declined. Draw­ing on pri­ma­ry archival sources and in-depth inter­views from a year of field research, she will focus on the unpre­dictable process inher­ent in the scram­ble for mid­dle-class sta­tus in Korea.

Yang’s research has shown that many first-gen­er­a­tion mem­bers of the mid­dle class achieved upward mobil­i­ty by engag­ing in spec­u­la­tion and tak­ing advan­tage of sky­rock­et­ing real estate prices. This con­trasts with pre­vi­ous stud­ies that most­ly explain the rise of the mid­dle class as a con­se­quence of a mer­i­to­crat­ic order that pro­vid­ed white-col­lar work­ers, cor­po­rate man­agers, and engi­neers in large con­glom­er­ates with high­er incomes, long-term job secu­ri­ty, and con­sumerist lifestyles. Through an analy­sis of the lives and expe­ri­ences of the mid­dle class as shaped by the hous­ing mar­ket, she will reveal the real­i­ty behind the myth of mid­dle-class for­ma­tion in Korea.

Myungji Yang stud­ies the pol­i­tics of devel­op­ment using qual­i­ta­tive meth­ods. Her research is par­tic­u­lar­ly con­cerned with the nexus between author­i­tar­i­an regimes, iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics, and devel­op­ment in South Korea and Chi­na. Her doc­tor­al dis­ser­ta­tion at Brown Uni­ver­si­ty dealt with how author­i­tar­i­an regimes nur­tured the urban mid­dle class­es in South Korea and Chi­na in order to recon­struct the nation and strength­en polit­i­cal legit­i­ma­cy.

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies events are free and open to all. This pre­sen­ta­tion is 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). For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies at (808) 956‑7041. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action Insti­tu­tion.