Toronto Symposium Focuses on Works of Hagen Koo

photo of Hagen KooThe writ­ings of Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies fac­ul­ty mem­ber Hagen Koo form the core of a one-day sym­po­sium being held at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to this month.

The sym­po­sium–Rethink­ing Class and Labour through the Works of Hagen Koo–is spon­sored by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Cen­tre for the Study of Korea. It takes place Fri­day, July 16, 2018, begin­ning at 9:30 a.m. at the Asian Insti­tute at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs.

Hagen Koo is emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­o­gy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Born in Korea, he received his B.A. in Korea and worked as a jour­nal­ist before com­ing to the Unit­ed States. He began his grad­u­ate stud­ies at the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia and com­plet­ed his Ph.D. degree at North­west­ern Uni­ver­si­ty.

cover of Korean Workers by Hagen KooPro­fes­sor Koo has pub­lished exten­sive­ly on the polit­i­cal econ­o­my of devel­op­ment in East Asia and social trans­for­ma­tion in South Korea dur­ing its peri­od of rapid indus­tri­al­iza­tion. His major works include State and Soci­ety in Con­tem­po­rary Korea (1993) and Kore­an Work­ers: The Cul­ture and Pol­i­tics of Class For­ma­tion (2001). The lat­ter received a book award from the Amer­i­can Soci­o­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion and has been trans­lat­ed into sev­er­al lan­guages.

Koo con­tin­ues to work on the issues of inequal­i­ty and chang­ing class rela­tions and is com­plet­ing a book on the demise of the mid­dle class in South Korea in the neolib­er­al era. He is cur­rent­ly a vis­it­ing schol­ar at Free Uni­ver­si­ty of Berlin.

The sym­po­sium will begin with Koo’s keynote address, “Rethink­ing Work­ing Class For­ma­tion in South Korea.” He will dis­cuss the dis­tinc­tive aspects of what has been one of the world’s most inter­est­ing and dynam­ic working-class move­ments dur­ing the past half cen­tu­ry and will exam­ine their broad the­o­ret­i­cal impli­ca­tions from a ret­ro­spec­tive per­spec­tive.

The Program

Oth­er sym­po­sium speak­ers and their top­ics include Jen­nifer Chun of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (“Reli­gion, Rit­u­al and Spaces of Work­er Protest in South Korea); Hyun­jin Veda Kim of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Massachusetts-Amherst (“Hagen Koo’s Kore­an Work­ers and Marx­ism in the Third World”); Namhee Lee of UCLA (“The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Tran­si­tion, Working-Class Iden­ti­ties, and the Cur­rent State of Research”); Hwa-Jen Liu of Nation­al Tai­wan Uni­ver­si­ty (“Com­par­isons as Con­ver­sa­tions”); and Gay Sei­d­man of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wisconsin-Madison “Hon­our­ing Hagen Koo: Look­ing Back, Look­ing For­ward”).

The pro­gram will be chaired by Yoonkyung Lee of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.

For more infor­ma­tion about the sym­po­sium pro­gram and speak­ers, see

Graduate Student Workshop at the University of Hawaii

graduate student workshopThe Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies will bring togeth­er a group of estab­lished schol­ars and advanced grad­u­ate stu­dents in a mini-conference/graduate stu­dent work­shop to con­duct a mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary exam­i­na­tion of the ori­gins of Kore­an iden­ti­ty. The conference/workshop, titled “Who are ‘Kore­ans’: Kore­an Iden­ti­ty Viewed through Dif­fer­ent Lens­es,” will take place at the Cen­ter in Hon­olu­lu Decem­ber 12–14, 2018.

Korea, as we know it today, is quite dis­tinct from neigh­bor­ing Chi­na and Japan. But can it be deter­mined, when viewed through dif­fer­ent lens­es, when “Korea” as we have come to know it began to take form? In all like­li­hood, dif­fer­ent fields will pro­vide dif­fer­ent per­spec­tives on ques­tions of ori­gins. The pri­ma­ry ques­tion here will be: when spe­cial­ists from dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines come togeth­er to dis­cuss this top­ic, can a con­sen­sus be drawn? If so, what might it be? If no clear con­sen­sus can be drawn, then why not? In par­tic­u­lar, by exam­in­ing Kore­an iden­ti­ty from behav­ioral and bio­log­i­cal per­spec­tives do researchers from dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines view Kore­an iden­ti­ty dif­fer­ent­ly? If so, why?

The Program

The first day of this pro­gram will include pub­lic lec­tures by five schol­ars from dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines (anato­my, archae­ol­o­gy, genet­ics, lin­guis­tics, and soci­ol­o­gy). On the sec­ond and third days, these schol­ars will lead a closed-door work­shop orga­nized for grad­u­ate stu­dents. The event is specif­i­cal­ly designed to give the par­tic­i­pat­ing stu­dents oppor­tu­ni­ties to inter­act with these schol­ars and with oth­er grad­u­ate stu­dents and par­tic­u­lar­ly to under­stand how oth­er dis­ci­plines may define Kore­an iden­ti­ty. The hope is that involve­ment in this con­fer­ence will help the par­tic­i­pants with their own research projects as they evolve.

The pub­lic lec­ture com­po­nent of the event will be open to one and all. The invit­ed speak­ers are Choong­won Jeong (Max Planck Jena, genet­ics), Jaee­un Kim (Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan, soci­ol­o­gy), Jang­suk Kim (Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty, archae­ol­o­gy), U-Young Lee (Catholic Uni­ver­si­ty, anato­my), and John Whit­man (Cor­nell Uni­ver­si­ty, lin­guis­tics).

To Apply

Those inter­est­ed in par­tic­i­pat­ing in the closed graduate-student-workshop com­po­nent of the event should con­tact the orga­niz­er, Prof. Christo­pher J. Bae of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i at Manoa Depart­ment of Anthro­pol­o­gy, via e-mail ( Send a cur­rent cur­ricu­lum vitae and a one- or two-page, single-spaced state­ment about the applicant’s research project and how par­tic­i­pat­ing in this work­shop could help with that research.

In addi­tion, each applicant’s advi­sor must send Prof. Bae direct­ly a rec­om­men­da­tion let­ter that ver­i­fies that the appli­cant is a grad­u­ate stu­dent in good stand­ing and that par­tic­i­pat­ing in such a work­shop could help the stu­dent devel­op his or her research project(s) now and in the future.

The dead­line for sub­mis­sion of both appli­ca­tion mate­ri­als and let­ters of rec­om­men­da­tion is Sep­tem­ber 1, 2018. For those cho­sen to par­tic­i­pate, funds will be be avail­able to cov­er trav­el expens­es (that is, roundtrip economy-class air­fare and room and board dur­ing the con­fer­ence).

Direct all ques­tions to Prof. Christo­pher J. Bae at, tele­phone (808) 956‑7353.

Korea University Offers Pony Chung Fellowship

Pony Chung Fellowship at Korea UniversityThe Research Insti­tute of Kore­an Stud­ies (RIKS) at Korea Uni­ver­si­ty, with sup­port from the Pony Chung Foun­da­tion, seeks appli­cants for the third Pony Chung Fel­low­ship for young Kore­an stud­ies schol­ars. The goal of the fel­low­ship is to pro­vide young inter­na­tion­al schol­ars of Kore­an stud­ies finan­cial sup­port, a suit­able research infra­struc­ture, and a means through which to share ideas and research out­comes with oth­ers.

The fel­low­ship is open to researchers of non-Korean nation­al­i­ty who have received their Ph.D. in the field of Kore­an stud­ies (human­i­ties, social sci­ences, and com­par­a­tive inter­na­tion­al research with a focus on Kore­an stud­ies) and to researchers of Kore­an nation­al­i­ty who hold dual cit­i­zen­ship and have received a Ph.D. in the field of Kore­an stud­ies.

Appli­cants must have received their doc­tor­al degree with­in five years of the start of fund­ing (with some excep­tions). Appli­cants who have con­crete plans to pub­lish their research find­ings through a for­eign uni­ver­si­ty press with­in three years of the start of fund­ing will receive pref­er­ence.

Two fel­low­ship appoint­ments are avail­able. The fel­low­ship peri­od will extend from March 2019 to Feb­ru­ary 2020 or Sep­tem­ber 2019 to August 2020.

Con­tin­ue read­ing

Grant Available for Research at USC Korean Heritage Library

USC Korean Heritage Library research grantsThe Kore­an Her­itage Library (KHL) at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia has announced the avail­abil­i­ty of research grants for Kore­an stud­ies researchers, librar­i­ans, and edu­ca­tors. Sup­port­ed by the Over­seas Kore­an Stud­ies and Her­itage Foun­da­tion (OKSHF), the grants assist schol­ars desir­ing to use the USC Kore­an Her­itage Library’s resources for research to pro­mote schol­ar­ship in Kore­an stud­ies.

Stu­dents and schol­ars whose research can ben­e­fit from the resources at the USC Kore­an Her­itage Library are eli­gi­ble to apply. The pro­gram is open to schol­ars from Korea and oth­er coun­tries out­side the Unit­ed States and to those at domes­tic U.S. insti­tu­tions with few Kore­an library resources. The awards offer up to $2,000 to inter­na­tion­al schol­ars and up to $1,000 to domes­tic schol­ars.

The grants cov­er par­tial sup­port for costs relat­ed to con­sult­ing resources at the USC libraries as part of research on Korea (trav­el, accom­mo­da­tions, meals, copy­ing, etc.); USC library priv­i­leges; sup­port from USC KHL fac­ul­ty and staff dur­ing the research vis­it; and engage­ment with USC’s com­mu­ni­ty of Kore­an stud­ies fac­ul­ty and stu­dents through work­shops and infor­mal gath­er­ings.

Terms of the grant require recip­i­ents to sub­mit a brief report at the end of on-site research; acknowl­edge the OKSHF Research Grant in any result­ing pub­li­ca­tions or pre­sen­ta­tions; pro­vide the USC Libraries gift copies of pub­li­ca­tions result­ing from the grant (or, if not pos­si­ble, report cita­tions for KHL’s records); and sub­mit receipts for reim­burse­ment up to the amount of the award.

To apply, sub­mit a brief state­ment (approx­i­mate­ly 500 words) describ­ing your research project and its pur­pose, needs for on-site research at USC KHL, a list of mate­ri­als you wish to use (includ­ing the call no. where applic­a­ble); a pro­posed vis­it sched­ule; an esti­mat­ed bud­get; and a cur­ricu­lum vitae.

Send these doc­u­ments via e-mail attach­ments with sub­ject line “OKSHF Research Grant appli­ca­tion” to Joy Kim, cura­tor of the Kore­an Her­itage Library, at with a copy to Ken­neth Kline, head of the East Asian Library, at

The dead­line for pro­pos­als is July 31, 2018. Appli­ca­tion results will be issued Octo­ber 1, 2018. Grants must be used by Sep­tem­ber 30, 2019.

Direct inquiries to Joy Kim or Ken­neth Klein.

New Issue of Korean Studies Now On Line

Korean Studies journal volume 42 (2018)Vol­ume 42 (2018) of Kore­an Stud­ies, the annu­al jour­nal of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies, is now avail­able on line through Project MUSE and its par­tic­i­pat­ing insti­tu­tions.

This issue of the jour­nal, pub­lished in coöper­a­tion with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i Press, con­tains four arti­cles and five book reviews. The arti­cles are:

  • Implic­it Polit­i­cal and Eco­nom­ic Lib­er­ties in the Thought of Tasan Chŏng Yagy­ong” by Jong­woo Yi;
  • Young Barbara’s Devo­tion and Death: Read­ing Father Ch’oe’s Field Report of 1850” by Deberniere J. Tor­rey;
  • The Prob­lem of Sov­er­eign Suc­ces­sion in Con­fu­cian Rit­u­al Dis­course: Con­sti­tu­tion­al Thought of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion between Fact and Val­ue” by Moowon Cho; and
  • Iden­ti­ties Sur­round­ing a Ceno­taph for Kore­an Atom­ic Bomb Vic­tims” by Yuko Taka­hashi.

Books reviewed in this issue are:

  • Decen­ter­ing Cit­i­zen­ship: Gen­der, Labor and Migra­tion Rights in South Korea by Hae Yeon Choo, reviewed by Robert York;
  • North Korea’s Hid­den Rev­o­lu­tion: How the Infor­ma­tion Under­ground is Trans­form­ing a Closed Soci­ety by Jie­un Baek, reviewed by Tony Docan-Morgan;
  • Ignit­ing the Inter­net: Youth and Activism in Postau­thor­i­tar­i­an South Korea by Jiyeon Kang, reviewed by Myungji Yang;
  • Women and Bud­dhist Phi­los­o­phy: Engag­ing Zen Mas­ter Kim Iryŏp by Jin Y. Park, reviewed by Jung­shim Lee; and
  • Cura­tive Vio­lence: Reha­bil­i­tat­ing Dis­abil­i­ty, Gen­der, and Sex­u­al­i­ty in Mod­ern Korea by Eun­jung Kim, reviewed by Son­ja M. Kim.

In the Project MUSE sys­tem, the cur­rent issue of Kore­an Stud­ies can be found at Print­ed copies of the jour­nal can be obtained by sub­scrip­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawaii Press Jour­nals Depart­ment.

Kore­an Stud­ies wel­comes sub­mis­sion of orig­i­nal, schol­ar­ly arti­cles relat­ed to Korea. Poten­tial con­trib­u­tors should con­sult the guide­lines for authors at Queries regard­ing edi­to­r­i­al mat­ters can be direct­ed to the edi­tor, Prof. Christo­pher J. Bae, at Send ques­tions regard­ing book reviews to the book-review edi­tor, Prof. Ji Young Kim, at