Critical Issues Forum: Concept and Identity in Contemporary Korea

Candlelight movement photo by Hanwool Kim 김한울Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty pro­fes­sor Park Myoung-Kyu will lead the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies’ Ninth Forum on Crit­i­cal Issues in Kore­an Stud­ies Feb­ru­ary 15–16, 2018. Park will present a lec­ture titled “Con­cept and Iden­ti­ty in Con­tem­po­rary Korea: Con­test­ed Sub­jec­tiv­i­ties in the Can­dle­light Move­ment in 2017” on Feb­ru­ary 15 from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. in the Cen­ter audi­to­ri­um.

The voic­es of those gath­ered at Gwangh­wamoon plaza in 2017 were pow­er­ful enough to push Kore­an law­mak­ers and the judges of the Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court to impeach and con­vict Pres­i­dent Park Geun­hye. This peace­ful col­lec­tive move­ment is regard­ed as an exam­ple of the “strong civ­il soci­ety” and “con­sol­i­dat­ed democ­ra­cy” of Korea.

It would be wrong, Pro­fes­sor Park will con­tend in his lec­ture, to con­sid­er the peo­ple as a homo­ge­neous uni­ty. In fact, he says, there were many voic­es with dif­fer­ent back­grounds and inter­ests. The peo­ple in the plaza shared some vision, but their moti­va­tions, emo­tions, and ori­en­ta­tions dif­fered. Dur­ing and after the can­dle­light rev­o­lu­tion, there has been a dynam­ic process of iden­ti­ty dis­putes regard­ing the ques­tion of “who are we?”

In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Pro­fes­sor Park will explore the con­ti­nu­ity and dis­con­ti­nu­ity of the 2017 can­dle­light move­ment, locat­ing it in the socio-historical tra­jec­to­ry of sub­jec­tiv­i­ty con­struc­tion in mod­ern Korea. Park will also lead a relat­ed sem­i­nar for Kore­an stud­ies grad­u­ate stu­dents on Feb­ru­ary 16.

Park Myoung-Kyu will lecture on the 2017 candlelight movementPark Myoung-Kyu is a pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­o­gy at Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty and pres­i­dent of the Kore­an Soci­o­log­i­cal Asso­ci­a­tion. He received his Ph.D. from Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty. He has pre­vi­ous­ly been direc­tor of the Insti­tute for Peace and Uni­fi­ca­tion Stud­ies (2006–2016) and Social Devel­op­ment Research Insti­tute (2002–2004), chair­man of the His­to­ry and Soci­ety Edi­to­r­i­al Board (2002–2004), and pres­i­dent of the Kore­an Social His­to­ry Asso­ci­a­tion (2002–2004). He is editor-in-chief of the Asian Jour­nal of Peace­build­ing.

Park’s research fields are social his­to­ry, soci­ol­o­gy of nation and nation­al iden­ti­ty, inter-Korean rela­tions, con­cep­tu­al his­to­ry, and soci­ol­o­gy of reli­gion. He has been a vis­it­ing fel­low at the Harvard-Yenching Insti­tute (1989–1990), vis­it­ing schol­ar at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Irvine (1998–1999), vis­it­ing pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley (2003–2004), and inter­na­tion­al schol­ar fel­low at Human­i­ties Cen­ter of Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty (2015).

His recent pub­li­ca­tions include Soci­ol­o­gy of Bor­der­line in Inter-Korean Rela­tions (in Kore­an, 2012) and North Kore­an Dias­po­ra (co-authored, 2011).

About the Forum

The Forum on Crit­i­cal Issues in Kore­an Stud­ies was inau­gu­rat­ed in 2010 to bring out­stand­ing schol­ars from around the world to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i Mānoa cam­pus for dis­cus­sions of impor­tant con­tem­po­rary top­ics relat­ed to Korea. The Forum is free and open to the pub­lic. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies at (808) 956‑7041.

This pre­sen­ta­tion is sup­port­ed by the Doo Wook and Helen Nahm Choy Fund. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action insti­tu­tion.

The Legacy and Future of Korean Papermaking

Aimee Lee lectures on Korean papermakingArtist, paper­mak­er, and writer Aimee Lee will use still and mov­ing images to illus­trate a lec­ture on the lega­cy and future of Kore­an paper­mak­ing Thurs­day, Feb­ru­ary 8, 2018, at 4:00 p.m. at the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies.

Lee will describe how hanji—Korean paper—is made both in Korea and in the Unit­ed States. She will pro­vide insight into how con­tem­po­rary artists are using han­ji for books, sculp­ture, jew­el­ry, and art­work.

Aimee Lee art of Korean papermakingA dis­cus­sion of dif­fer­ent uses of han­ji across dai­ly life and spe­cial occa­sions will fol­low a brief account of key points in the his­to­ry of han­ji. Lee will show sam­ples of han­ji and art­work made from it to illus­trate her talk.

Aimee Lee is the lead­ing han­ji researcher and prac­ti­tion­er in the Unit­ed States. Edu­cat­ed at Ober­lin Col­lege and Colum­bia Col­lege Chica­go, her Ful­bright research on Kore­an paper led to her award-winning book, Han­ji Unfurled, and the first U.S. han­ji stu­dio in Cleve­land, Ohio.

Lee has shown her work at the Fuller Craft Muse­um, Islip Art Muse­um, and Muse­um of Nebras­ka Art, and her work has appeared in The Korea Times, The New York Times, The Plain Deal­er, KBS World Radio, PBS, Voice of Amer­i­ca, and CNN’s Great Big Sto­ry.

Aimee Lee will also con­duct a three-hour work­shop on cre­ative uses of han­ji on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 9, 2018. Click here for fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the work­shop.

For more infor­ma­tion about Lee and illus­tra­tions of her work, vis­it her Web site.

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.

For infor­ma­tion about park­ing on the Mānoa cam­pus, vis­it the Com­muter Ser­vices Web page.

This pro­gram is sup­port­ed by the Doo Wook and Helen Nahm Choy Fund. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action insti­tu­tion.

Lecture: Postwar Korean Photography

Photo of Joan Kee, who will lecture on Korean photograpyArt his­to­ri­an Joan Kee of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan will present a lec­ture on devel­op­ments in Kore­an pho­tog­ra­phy in the post­war era at the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Mon­day, Novem­ber 6, 2017. The UH Manoa Depart­ment of Art and Art His­to­ry is co-sponsor of the lec­ture. It will begin at 3:00 p.m.

The prac­tice of pho­tog­ra­phy in post­war Korea was shaped around the twin­ning of eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment with state-promoted “tra­di­tion,” through images pro­duced through pho­to­jour­nal­ism as well as for those tapped for inclu­sion in the annu­al gov­ern­ment art salon, the Kukjŏn. This lec­ture will dis­cuss a crit­i­cal mass of pho­tog­ra­phers who came of pro­fes­sion­al age in the 1960s and sought to open a dif­fer­ent kind of space, one requir­ing a deep­er and more sin­gu­lar invest­ment from audi­ences than mere acknowl­edg­ment or even sym­pa­thy.

Con­cen­trat­ing on the pho­tographs of Jun Min-cho, Yook Myung-shim, and Joo Myung-duk, Kee will con­sid­er the pur­suit of vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty as an alter­na­tive means of devel­op­ment beyond that endorsed by polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al elites look­ing to human­ize the state’s relent­less push for mate­r­i­al progress.

photo by Yook Myung-shim as an example of postwar Korean photography

Yook Myung-shim. Seoul, Korea. 1969.

Joan Kee is an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor in the his­to­ry of art at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Michi­gan. She spe­cial­izes in art and law with a spe­cial research focus on mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary East and South­east Asian art, par­tic­u­lar­ly that of Korea. Kee is author of Con­tem­po­rary Kore­an Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2013); curat­ed the exhi­bi­tion From All Sides: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2014); and serves as a con­tribut­ing edi­tor to Art­fo­rum.

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.

Biography Brown Bag: The Secret Operations of the Yodogō Exiles

Destiny coverUniver­si­ty of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa soci­ol­o­gy pro­fes­sor Patri­cia G. Stein­hoff will dis­cuss the new­ly trans­lat­ed book Des­tiny: The Secret Oper­a­tions of the Yodogō Exiles in a brown-bag lunch-time ses­sion on Thurs­day, Octo­ber 19, 2017.

The pro­gram, spon­sored by the Cen­ter for Bio­graph­i­cal Research, will take place in Kuyk­endall 409A from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m.

In 1970, nine mem­bers of a Japan­ese New Left group called the Red Army Fac­tion hijacked a domes­tic air­lin­er to North Korea intend­ing to acquire the mil­i­tary train­ing to bring about a rev­o­lu­tion in Japan. The North Kore­an gov­ern­ment accept­ed the hijackers—who became known in the media as the Yodogō group—and two years lat­er they announced their con­ver­sion to the North Kore­an juche polit­i­cal ide­ol­o­gy.

Des­tiny: The Secret Oper­a­tions of the Yodogō Exiles by Kōji Takaza­wa tells the sto­ry of how Takaza­wa exposed the Yodogō group’s involve­ment in the kid­nap­ping and lur­ing of sev­er­al young Japan­ese to North Korea, as well as the truth behind their Japan­ese wives’ pres­ence in the coun­try. Takazawa’s research was val­i­dat­ed in 2002, when the North Kore­an gov­ern­ment pub­licly acknowl­edged it had kid­napped thir­teen Japan­ese cit­i­zens dur­ing the 1970s and 1980s, includ­ing three peo­ple whom Takaza­wa had con­nect­ed to the Yodogō hijack­ers.

In this talk, Stein­hoff will trace the sto­ry of the Yodogō exiles in North Korea, Takazawa’s involve­ment in their sto­ry and his work of inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism, and how Stein­hoff came to edit the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of his book.

For more infor­ma­tion, tele­phone (808) 956‑3774, send e-mail to, or vis­it

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.