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.

Chair in Korean Studies at the University of Iowa

University of Iowa logoThe College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and International Programs at the University of Iowa invite applications for the position of C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies at the full professor or senior associate professor level to begin in the fall of 2018.

Applicants must be specialists in a humanities or social science discipline, must have primary research and teaching expertise in Korean studies, and may also have interdisciplinary or supranational research interests.

Appointment will be to an appropriate disciplinary department. The successful applicant will also hold a 0% appointment in International Programs and is expected to participate in the activities of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. Review processes, teaching assignments, and primary responsibility for mentorship will reside within the department of appointment. This is an endowed, fully tenured, position with a reduced teaching load and annual research funds.

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Non-tenure Track Teaching Position at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies

Hankuk University of Foreign Studies logoThe Department of Korean Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Yongin-si, South Korea) invites applications for a full-time, one-year, non-tenure-track teaching position (with possible multiple renewals) to begin in September 2017. The University hires only non-Korean citizens for the position.

Applicants must have a Ph.D. in Korean studies, particularly social sciences, cultural studies, and media studies, at the time of appointment and native or near-native fluency in English and Korean. ABD applicants are guaranteed full consideration. Applicants with a strong research profile will be preferred.

The appointee will teach an average of three undergraduate courses per semester (minimum eight hours per week) in the Department of Korean Studies. The language of instruction is English.

The rank and salary will be commensurate with the appointee’s qualifications and experience and will be decided at the time of appointment according to the University’s employment code. As of 2017, the annual salary is approximately $36,250 to $54,250. The University will provide competitive funding for research projects and on-campus housing.

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Memory of a Revolution Revisited at the End of East-West Road

Kim Suk seminar artCenter for Korean Studies visiting scholar Suk Kim will discuss his ongoing writing projects in a seminar Thursday, April 13, 2017, at the Center. Kim’s presentation, “Memory of a Revolution Revisited at the End of East-West Road,” will take place in the Center’s conference room at 11:00 a.m.

Kim SukSuk Kim is an assistant professor in the Department of English Literature at Kyung Hee University, where he teaches twentieth-century British and American literature. He earned his Ph.D. in English and American literature at New York University in 2006 with a dissertation on the works of James Joyce.

Kim’s talk will thematically string together the central theses of two of his critical writings in progress. He will, he says, “draw attention to the legacy of revolution whose timeless injunction for a genuine change invites the improbable juxtaposition of the late ‘Candlelight Revolution’ in South Korea (which is credited with overthrowing the kleptocratic regime of Geun-hye Park) with the biographical memoir by Kim San and Nym Wales titled Song of Ariran: A Korean Communist in the Chinese Revolution (1941).”

Kim elaborates further: “There are, of course, many types of revolution, just as there are as many ways of defining them. Nonetheless, insofar as every theory of revolution presupposes the coming of a certain end of the world, an irreparable rupture to the idea as well as the experience of life as we have known it (be it sociopolitical, politico-economic, ‘tele-technological,’ and so on), the two disparate subject matters (a historic event and a literary text) conjoin to remind us, via the performative eventfulness they respectively enact, what may be at stake in endeavoring a genuine transformation apropos of an individual subject as well as the collective subjectivity: namely, the sustainability of such conceptual binaries as the East and the West, the human vis-a-vis the animal(s), not to mention the very idea of being versus haunting in our globalized age.”

Center for Korean Studies events are free and open to all. 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.

Korean Studies Pedagogy Workshop for Junior Faculty at the University of Michigan

Nam Center logoThe University of Michigan Nam Center for Korean Studies is offering an opportunity for junior faculty to participate in a pedagogy workshop as part of its effort to develop a network of faculty in Korean studies. The workshop will held May 13, 2017, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, concurrently with the 2017 International Conference of NextGen Korean Studies Scholars (NEKST), May 12-13, 2017.

The workshop is open to junior tenure-track faculty from all fields in the social sciences and humanities. All participants are expected to attend NEKST and serve as a discussant for one of the NEKST paper sessions.

Participants in the workshop, which will be facilitated by a team of senior faculty, will receive constructive feedback on their Korean studies courses and curricular structure. Senior mentors will share their classroom experiences, practices and tips for effective teaching, and pedagogical resources.

Faculty mentors for the workshop are Kyeong-Hee Choi, associate professor in modern Korean literature at the University of Chicago, and Charles Kim, Korea Foundation associate professor of Korean studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Junior tenure-track faculty whose teaching responsibilities include a Korean studies course are encouraged to apply. Up to five applicants will be selected to participate. Special consideration will be given to recent hires and applicants from institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance. Round-trip economy fare to Detroit Metropolitan Airport and local expenses (ground transportation, lodging, and meals) will be provided for each participant.

To apply, send a curriculum vitae, statement of interest (no longer than 500 words), and sample course syllabus by e-mail to ncks.applications@umich.edu. Use the subject line: [LAST NAME_First Name] Korean Studies Pedagogy Workshop. The deadline is April 14, 2017.

This workshop is supported by the Academy of Korean Studies. For more information about the Nam Center for Korean Studies, see www.ii.umich.edu/ncks.