Finding Common Sound: Composing for Korean Instruments as a Cultural Outsider

Busan National Gugak Center traditional orchestra performs "Eternity" by Thomas OsborneThomas Osborne is a pro­fes­sor of com­po­si­tion and the­o­ry in the Music Depart­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. For the past decade, he has com­posed exten­sive­ly for Kore­an and oth­er Asian instru­ments. He also has col­lab­o­rat­ed with some of Korea’s most‐recognized tra­di­tion­al musi­cians.

In this pro­gram at the Cen­ter on Thurs­day, Octo­ber 18, 2018, at 4:00 p.m., Osborne will dis­cuss the expe­ri­ence of approach­ing a cul­ture and its musi­cal instru­ments from the per­spec­tive of an out­sider. Videos and audio record­ings will demon­strate the results of his col­lab­o­ra­tions with Kore­an per­form­ers.

composer Thomas OsborneOsborne, who is an asso­ciate fac­ul­ty mem­ber of the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies, has received com­mis­sions from a wide assort­ment of musi­cal orga­ni­za­tions. Those relat­ed to Korea have includ­ed com­mis­sions from gayageum soloist Ji‐Young Yi and Kore­an piri soloist Chi­wan Park. He also has writ­ten for tra­di­tion­al per­form­ers from the Con­tem­po­rary Music Ensemble‐Korea and the Busan Nation­al Gugak Cen­ter Kore­an tra­di­tion­al orches­tra, as well as for per­form­ers in Japan and Chi­na.

He spent 2012–2013 in Seoul in res­i­dence as a Ful­bright senior research schol­ar at Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty, com­pos­ing music for Kore­an instru­ments and giv­ing guest lec­tures at uni­ver­si­ties through­out Asia.

Active as a con­duc­tor of con­tem­po­rary music, Thomas Osborne has led the pre­mieres of dozens of works. He is the direc­tor of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i Con­tem­po­rary Music Ensem­ble, a group that reg­u­lar­ly presents music by liv­ing com­posers from the West and from the Asia/Pacific region.

For much more about Osborne’s com­po­si­tions, record­ings, and col­lab­o­ra­tions, see

This event is free and open to all. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion on 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.

First‐Ever Credit Course on Jejueo Taught at a Post‐Secondary Institution

Jejueo, the lan­guage of Korea’s Jeju Island, is now being taught for cred­it in a post‐secondary insti­tu­tion for the first time. The lan­guage, long mis­tak­en­ly clas­si­fied as a dialect of Kore­an, is not intel­li­gi­ble to peo­ple who speak only Kore­an and has come to be rec­og­nized as a sep­a­rate lan­guage by many lin­guists and insti­tu­tions, includ­ing UNESCO and the Endan­gered Lan­guage Cat­a­logue at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Changyong Yang teaches first course in JejueoIn 2017, Dr. Changy­ong Yang, dean of the Col­lege of Lan­guage Edu­ca­tion at Jeju Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty and adjunct pro­fes­sor in the Depart­ment of Lin­guis­tics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, was asked to teach a for‐credit course on Jejueo in the Depart­ment of Nurs­ing at the Jeju Tourism Uni­ver­si­ty (제주관광대학교). The goal of the course was to pre­pare nurs­ing stu­dents to bet­ter serve the needs of elder­ly patients who pre­fer to com­mu­ni­cate with health care providers in Jejueo rather than Kore­an.

Reac­tion to the course has been very pos­i­tive. The stu­dents have expressed amaze­ment at how dif­fer­ent Jejueo is from Kore­an and how impor­tant famil­iar­i­ty with the lan­guage has been for com­mu­ni­cat­ing with elder­ly patients. About forty stu­dents reg­is­tered for Dr. Yang’s class in the spring of 2017 and about six­ty in the spring of the fol­low­ing year. The course will be offered again in the spring of 2019.

Dr. Yang is using as his text­book the first vol­ume of a Jejueo‐language series that he has co‐authored with Sejung Yang, a Ph.D. stu­dent in the Depart­ment of Lin­guis­tics at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and William O’Grady, a pro­fes­sor in the same depart­ment. Prepa­ra­tion of the vol­umes in the series has been 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).

Protests, Activists, and Political Parties in Korea

Yoonkyung Lee speaks on Korean political partiesKore­ans fre­quent­ly take to the streets to artic­u­late polit­i­cal demands, but these expres­sions of col­lec­tive ener­gy gen­er­al­ly fail to lead to strength­en­ing polit­i­cal par­ties. An exam­i­na­tion of this enig­mat­ic real­i­ty will be at the heart of the 2018 Andrews Chair Lec­ture to be deliv­ered by Pro­fes­sor Yoonkyung Lee of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Sep­tem­ber 27, 2018, at 4:30 p.m. at the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies.

Lee is a polit­i­cal soci­ol­o­gist who spe­cial­izes in labor pol­i­tics, social move­ments, polit­i­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and the polit­i­cal econ­o­my of neolib­er­al­ism. She is the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i at Mānoa School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies 2018 Arthur Lynn Andrews Vis­it­ing Pro­fes­sor of Asian and Pacif­ic Stud­ies. The title of her lec­ture is “Between the Streets and the Assem­bly: Protests, Activists, and Polit­i­cal Par­ties in Korea.”

Protest move­ments are a well‐known part of Korea’s polit­i­cal dynam­ics. Through street protests, cit­i­zens have brought down dic­ta­to­r­i­al regimes, expand­ed demo­c­ra­t­ic rights, warned cor­rupt and incom­pe­tent par­ty politi­cians, chal­lenged unequal rela­tions with the Unit­ed States, and even impeached an incum­bent pres­i­dent.

In a sharp con­trast to such dra­mat­ic spec­ta­cles, Lee says, polit­i­cal par­ties have lagged behind, invit­ing a seri­ous lev­el of pub­lic dis­trust and dis­par­age­ment. Since democ­ra­ti­za­tion, Kore­an par­ties have shown a his­toric record of engag­ing in fre­quent orga­ni­za­tion­al dis­ar­ray while com­pet­ing on vague­ly defined pol­i­cy pro­grams.

In her lec­ture, Lee will ask why Kore­an cit­i­zens con­tin­ue to go to the streets to artic­u­late polit­i­cal demands, where­as this col­lec­tive ener­gy for trans­for­ma­tive pol­i­tics fails to fun­nel into polit­i­cal par­ties. The per­sist­ing weak­ness of par­ty pol­i­tics looms even more enig­mat­ic when we con­sid­er the large num­ber of for­mer social and labor activists who joined exist­ing par­ties or formed new ones with a man­date of chang­ing pol­i­tics, she says.

This lec­ture will close­ly fol­low the inter­ac­tions between the move­ment sec­tor and polit­i­cal par­ties to account for the fail­ure of activist‐turned leg­is­la­tors in trans­form­ing par­ty pol­i­tics and thus con­tribut­ing to the fre­quent erup­tion of protest move­ments.

The Andrews Chair Lec­ture is free and open to all. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter office at (808) 956‑7041. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies, vis­it this link.

CKS Scholarships for 2018–2019 Awarded

art for scholarships announcementThe Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies has award­ed $34,000 in schol­ar­ships for stu­dents engaged in Korea‐related stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa dur­ing the 2018‒2019 aca­d­e­m­ic year. Four­teen stu­dents received finan­cial sup­port from the Cen­ter.

Descrip­tions of all the schol­ar­ships admin­is­tered by the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies and instruc­tions for apply­ing for them can be found on the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Web site. The dead­line for apply­ing for Center‐managed schol­ar­ships for the 2019–2020 aca­d­e­m­ic year is Feb­ru­ary 1, 2019.

The recip­i­ents of the 2018–2019 awards are list­ed below.

Don­ald C.W. Kim Schol­ar­ship

  • Suky­oung Myung (Ph.D., Polit­i­cal Sci­ence), $5,000

Core Uni­ver­si­ty Grad­u­ate Schol­ar­ship

  • Yuki Asahi­na (Ph.D., Soci­ol­o­gy), $1,800
  • Joseph John­son (M.A., Soci­ol­o­gy), $7,800

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Grad­u­ate Schol­ar­ship

  • Kather­ine Har­ring­ton (Ph.D., Anthro­pol­o­gy), $2,500

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Under­grad­u­ate Schol­ar­ship

  • Erik Leef (B.A., Kore­an), $2,500

Dong Jae and Hyung Ja Lee Endowed Schol­ar­ship

  • Kyle Akuya (B.A., Kore­an), $1,600

Her­bert H. Lee Schol­ar­ship

  • Grace Jeong (B.A., Kore­an), $2,000
  • Diana Lee (M.A., Kore­an), $2,000

Yŏng‐Min Endowed Schol­ar­ship

  • Hana Kim (Ph.D., Polit­i­cal Sci­ence), $1,800
  • Bon­nie Fox (Ph.D., Kore­an), $1,800
  • Sujin Kang (M.A., Kore­an)

N.H. Paul Chung Endowed Grad­u­ate Schol­ar­ship

  • Boo Kyung Jung (Ph.D., Kore­an), $1,000
  • Hwan­Hee Kim (Ph.D., Kore­an)

Kore­an Nation­al Association/Kook Min Hur Endowed Schol­ar­ship

  • Won Geun Choi (Ph.D., Polit­i­cal Sci­ence), $1,400

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion about Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies schol­ar­ships, con­tact Kortne Oshiro‐Chin at or tele­phone (808) 956‑2212.

UH Graduate Scholarship Available for Spring 2019

CKS logo for graduate scholarshipThe Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is now accept­ing appli­ca­tions for the spring 2019 Core Uni­ver­si­ty Grad­u­ate Schol­ar­ship. This schol­ar­ship is to apply toward tuition and stu­dent fees only. UH Mānoa grad­u­ate stu­dents with a focus on Kore­an stud­ies are encour­aged to apply.

Fol­low this link to down­load a copy of the schol­ar­ship appli­ca­tion form. In addi­tion to the com­plet­ed form, appli­ca­tions must include a two‐page essay address­ing aca­d­e­m­ic plans and major/focus and how they relate to Kore­an stud­ies; copies of aca­d­e­m­ic tran­scripts; and two let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion (see the appli­ca­tion form for details). Only ful­ly com­plet­ed appli­ca­tions with all sup­port­ing doc­u­men­ta­tion will be con­sid­ered.

Appli­ca­tions and sup­port­ing doc­u­ments must be sent to the address below:

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies, UHM
Attn: Kortne Oshiro‐Chin
1881 East‐West Rd., Rm 208
Hon­olu­lu, HI 96822

Hand‐delivered appli­ca­tions must be received by Wednes­day, Novem­ber 14, 2018, 4:00 p.m., HST. If mailed, appli­ca­tions must be post­marked by Novem­ber 10, 2018. E‐mail appli­ca­tions will not be accept­ed.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact Kortne Oshiro‐Chin at or tele­phone (808) 956‑2212.

This schol­ar­ship is sup­port­ed by a Core Uni­ver­si­ty Pro­gram for Kore­an Stud­ies Grant 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).