Call for Papers: Global Korean Studies and Writing Korean Culture

The Anthro­pol­o­gy Depart­ment at Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty invites pro­pos­als for pre­sen­ta­tions at the “Glob­al Kore­an Stud­ies and Writ­ing Kore­an Cul­ture” con­fer­ence. The con­fer­ence will be held Sep­tem­ber 22–23, 2017, and will be con­duct­ed in Eng­lish and Kore­an.

This con­fer­ence aims to crit­i­cal­ly engage the notion of Kore­an cul­ture and to reflect on what has been at stake in pro­duc­ing knowl­edge about it, from with­in Korea and from out­side, for Kore­ans and for non-Koreans. Where does “Kore­an cul­ture” begin and end, who is includ­ed and exclud­ed, and who gets to decide?

Pro­pos­als are sought for con­cep­tu­al, ana­lyt­i­cal, method­olog­i­cal, and ethno­graph­ic papers that inquire into the pol­i­tics of writ­ing (about) Kore­an cul­ture today, from dif­fer­ent locales inside and out­side South Korea. What have been the the­o­ret­i­cal and method­olog­i­cal chal­lenges par­tic­u­lar to local or inter­na­tion­al schol­ars research­ing Kore­an cul­ture? How have schol­ars account­ed for—or failed to account for—their dif­fer­ent rela­tions to Korea? How have Kore­anists respond­ed to pres­sures from nation­al and com­mer­cial inter­ests that fund research on Korea? How do we ori­ent schol­ar­ship on Kore­an cul­ture away from West­ern con­cerns and toward local issues with­out sub­or­di­nat­ing schol­ar­ship to nation­al­ist agen­das or sac­ri­fic­ing the intel­lec­tu­al rel­e­vance for the larg­er aca­d­e­m­ic com­mu­ni­ty?

Some pos­si­ble top­ics include:

  • Con­tem­po­rary dis­cours­es on Kore­an cul­ture and Kore­an­ness in acad­e­mia and beyond
  • Con­struc­tions of oth­er­ness in/of Kore­an cul­ture
  • Ori­en­tal­ism and self-orientalism
  • Writ­ing about Kore­an cul­ture while mov­ing away from the nation-state optic
  • Natives,” “for­eign­ers,” and oth­er autho­r­i­al posi­tions on Kore­an cul­ture
  • Pol­i­tics of field­work in Korea for Kore­an and non-Korean researchers
  • Audi­ences of Kore­an cul­ture schol­ar­ship in Korea and abroad, their invest­ments, desires, and demands
  • Pol­i­tics of knowl­edge pro­duc­tion, in anthro­pol­o­gy and area stud­ies, as it relates to Kore­an cul­ture
  • Insti­tu­tion­al deter­mi­nants of research on Kore­an cul­ture: fund­ing agen­cies, ethics review boards, glob­al­iz­ing uni­ver­si­ties
  • Fem­i­nist and queer per­spec­tives on Kore­an cul­ture
  • Pub­licly engaged schol­ar­ship and Kore­an cul­ture
  • Autoethnog­ra­phy and oth­er exper­i­men­tal writ­ing on Kore­an cul­ture.

The keynote speak­ers at the con­fer­ence will be Lau­rel Kendall of Colum­bia Uni­ver­si­ty and the Amer­i­can Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry and Jeong Duk Yi of Chon­buk Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty.

To apply for con­sid­er­a­tion, sub­mit a three-hundred-word abstract, three key­words, and a brief bio­graph­i­cal note to Olga Fedorenko and Yoon­hee Kang at by April 7, 2017. Select­ed par­tic­i­pants will be asked to sub­mit ful­ly devel­oped papers to dis­cus­sants by August 17, 2017. English-language papers pre­sent­ed at the con­fer­ence will be con­sid­ered for inclu­sion in a spe­cial issue of an aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nal.

Out-of-town pre­sen­ters will be offered lodg­ing on the Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty cam­pus or near­by. There are also lim­it­ed funds to cov­er trav­el expens­es for inter­na­tion­al par­tic­i­pants.