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.

Expired: Symposium Will Look at the Relationship of Performance and Literature in Oral Tradition

Literature and Performance symposiumThe performance dimension is a striking feature of Korean cultural practice, whether it be a traditional performance of p’ansori or the contemporary presentations of popular entertainers. A symposium at the Center for Korean Studies will explore the relationship between performance and literature in Korean and Hawaiian oral traditions. The program on February 28 and March 1, 2017, will bring together scholars of literature and the performing arts as well as performers to engage in presenting and discussing the performance dimensions of Korean literature.

The two-day program will present a series of discussions on Hawaiian performance and literature, p’ansori and dance, sijo poetry, and Korean masked dance. Performances in a special program at Orvis Auditorium on the evening of March 1 will present examples of the art forms discussed during the symposium.

Symposium participants include:

  • Peggy Choy, associate professor of dance at the University of Wisconsin, Madison;
  • Heo Chang-Yeol, a certified Kosŏng Ogwangdae teacher and Kosŏng Ogwangdae lecturer at Korea National University of the Arts;
  • Bonnie Kim, a freelance artist;
  • David McCann, Korea Foundation professor of Korean literature emeritus at Harvard University;
  • Gary Pak, professor of English at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa;
  • Michael Pili Pang, a lecturer at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa;
  • Chan Eung Park, professor of Korean literature and performance at the Ohio State University;
  • Travis Kaululā‘au Thompson, a freelance performer;
  • Edward J. Shultz, professor emeritus, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa;
  • Ivanna Yi, a Ph.D. candidate in East Asian languages and civilizations at Harvard University; and
  • Judy Van Zile, professor emerita of dance at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

The symposium discussions will take place in the Center for Korean Studies auditorium beginning at 9:30 a.m. each day. The evening program at Orvis Auditorium on March 1 will begin at 7:30 p.m. Program details are available here.

The discussions and the evening performance program are free and open to the public. For further information, including information regarding access for the handicapped, telephone the Center at (808) 956-7041.

A Dialogue with Gong Ji-Young

Gong Ji-YoungThe Center for Korean Studies is pleased to present A Dialogue with Gong Ji-Young: Empathy Friday, November 18, 2016. Gong Ji-Young is a best-selling novelist and one of the most popular “new wave” women writers in South Korea. She is the recipient of multiple literary awards.

A writer whose works center on social activism, Gong will speak about her works and themes and how they were shaped. Her major themes include issues surrounding the labor movement and women’s struggles, particularly gender equity and Korean society’s failure to move beyond patriarchal ways of thinking.

Two of her books, Human Decency (2006) and Our Happy Time (2005), are available in English translation.

Gong’s literary awards include the 21st Century Literary Award; the Korean Novel and Literature Award from the Korea Novelist Association; the Oh Young-soo Literature Award; a Special Media Award from Amnesty International; and the Yi Sang Literary Award.

Gong’s presentation will take place in the Center for Korean Studies auditorium from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. November 18. UH professor of Korean literature Yung-Hee Kim will introduce her. A question-and-answer session will follow. The program is free and open to all.

This event 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-25005). It is also supported by the Doo Wook and Helen Nahm Choy Fund at the Center for Korean Studies.

For further information, including information regarding access for the handicapped, telephone the Center at (808) 956-7041.

Limited, paid ($6) public parking is available in the parking lot adjacent to the Center and in other parking lots on campus. For more information about parking regulations and locations, consult the campus parking office Web page.

Contemporary Korean Poetry Symposium

Korean poetry symposium participantsThe Center for Korean Studies and the Department of English at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa are sponsoring two events highlighting the poetry of contemporary South Korea.

The first event is a colloquium titled “Translating Contemporary Korean Poetry: Problems and Joys” led by Brother Anthony of Taizé with participation by poets Lee Si-Young and Kim Soo-Bok.

Brother Anthony knows his subject well: He has published more than thirty volumes of English translations of Korean literature, mostly poetry, including works by Lee Si-Young, Kim Soo-Bok, Kim Seung-Hee, Ko Un, and Ch’on Sang-Pyong, among others, and fiction by Yi Mun-yol.

The colloquium on translating Korean poetry is part of the Words@Manoa Series of the Department of English Creative Writing Program. It will take place Wednesday, February 17, 2016, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. in Kuykendall Hall Room 410 at 1733 Donagho Road on the Mānoa campus.

Korean Poetry Readings

The following afternoon, February 18, Lee Si-young, Kim Soo-Bok, and a third poet, Kim Seung-Hee, will read from their works in a program in the Center for Korean Studies auditorium from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. The readings will be accompanied by commentary by Brother Anthony. All three poets have published extensively, hold academic positions at major universities, and are recipients of multiple major literary awards. All three have also published English editions of some of their books.

This symposium is co-sponsored by The Center for Korean Studies and the Department of English. These events are free and open to the public. Limited paid parking is available in campus parking lots. For more information about parking locations, rules, and rates, consult the Mānoa campus parking office Web page. For further information about the two events, including information regarding access for the handicapped, telephone the Center at (808) 956-7041 or contact Professor Gary Pak at

Oxford-Wolfson Min Sunshik Graduate Scholarship

Wolfson College logoWolfson College and the International Communication Foundation are offering a fully funded graduate scholarship at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom from the beginning of the academic year 2016-2017 for a student undertaking a D.Phil. course in Korean literature.

Applicants proposing to work on premodern Korean literature are strongly encouraged to apply. Particularly desired are scholars who intend to pursue careers dedicated to relating Korean literature to world literature through the translation and interpretation of classical Korean literature. The successful applicant will also be expected to participate in activities of the Life-Writing Research Cluster at Wolfson College working on biography, autobiography, memories, and other media that focus on the life and works of writers (

Applications are invited from suitably qualified graduates who are applying for entry to the Faculty of Oriental Studies to begin D.Phil. research in the field of Korean literature in October 2016. The scholarship is only tenable at Wolfson College, is open to any nationality, and is awarded on the basis of academic merit and potential.

The scholarship is fully funded for Home/EU and Overseas candidates: tuition fees, college fees, and a living stipend to the equivalent of the UK Research Council rate (£14,057 for 2015-16). The successful applicant will become a member of Wolfson College.

Applicants, whether internal or external, should apply to the University under the standard procedures for graduate degrees for 2016-17. The University’s application procedures are described at

Applications should normally be made on line ( The final deadline for applications is January 22, 2016.