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

A New Stage of North Korean Nuclear Weapons Challenges

North Korean nuclear weapons launchThe School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies and the Cen­ter for Korea will present a pan­el dis­cus­sion titled “A New Stage of North Kore­an Nuclear Weapons Chal­lenges: Pos­si­bil­i­ties for Changes from With­in?” Thurs­day, Novem­ber 16, 2017. The pro­gram will take place in the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies audi­to­ri­um from from 12 noon to 1:00 p.m.

The pan­el will fea­ture Prof. Tae‐Ung Baik of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa William S. Richard­son School of Law and Prof. Har­ri­son Kim of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Depart­ment of His­to­ry. R. Ander­son Sut­ton, dean of the School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies, will mod­er­ate the dis­cus­sion.

The Demo­c­ra­t­ic People’s Repub­lic of Korea began its nuclear pro­gram in the 1960s, and weaponiza­tion start­ed in the 1990s. The nuclear weapons pro­gram accel­er­at­ed in the 2000s as the DPRK with­drew from the nuclear non‐proliferation treaty in 2003. With its sixth nuclear test in Gilju on Sep­tem­ber 3, 2017, North Korea demon­strat­ed that it had devel­oped a hydro­gen bomb war­head. The DPRK has also devel­oped a nuclear‐capable inter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­sile, which is believed to be evolv­ing into one that can car­ry nuclear war­heads to the Unit­ed States’ ter­ri­to­ries soon­er or lat­er.

The pan­elists will dis­cuss the cur­rent stage of North Kore­an nuclear weapons chal­lenges and pos­si­bil­i­ties for changes from with­in the seclud­ed coun­try. They will address such ques­tions as: What are our options to deal with the nuclear weapons chal­lenges from North Korea? Are there any safe mil­i­tary options that can be used avoid­ing all‐out war? Can a peace talk and peace treaty divert the aggra­vat­ing course of secu­ri­ty chal­lenges? Is there any room for human­i­tar­i­an and human rights approach­es deal­ing with North Korea?

This event is free and open to the pub­lic. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion about the pro­gram, tele­phone the School of Pacif­ic and Asian Stud­ies at (808) 956‑8818. For infor­ma­tion about the facil­i­ties, 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.

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.

Call for Papers: Power and Dissent

Kyujanggak symposiumThe 9th Kyu­jang­gak Sym­po­sium for Kore­an Stud­ies is seek­ing pan­el pro­pos­als on the theme of “Pow­er and Dis­sent.” The Sym­po­sium will take place August 18–19, 2016, at the Kyu­jang­gak Insti­tute for Kore­an Stud­ies, Seoul Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty. Indi­vid­ual papers will also be con­sid­ered, pro­vid­ed they can be mean­ing­ful­ly grouped in a pan­el or attached to one of the orga­nized pan­els. Pro­pos­als (con­tain­ing short abstract of the pan­el and of the panel’s indi­vid­ual papers, as well as a short cur­ricu­lum vitae of the orga­niz­er) should be sent to by Feb­ru­ary 25, 2016.

Below is a short descrip­tion of the con­fer­ence theme; pan­els will be cho­sen on the basis of their intrin­sic mer­it and on their rel­e­vance to the con­fer­ence top­ic.

Con­tin­ue read­ing

Historical Memory and Reconciliation in Northeast Asia: A Panel Discussion

historical memory and reconciliation panel discussionFour schol­ars will probe issues sur­round­ing his­tor­i­cal mem­o­ry and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion in North­east Asia Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 12, 2016, in a pub­lic pan­el dis­cus­sion spon­sored by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai’i Cen­ter for Japan­ese Stud­ies and Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies. The pro­gram will take place in the UH Mānoa Art Audi­to­ri­um from 4:15 to 6:00 p.m.

Mem­o­ries of war and con­quest con­tin­ue to ham­per con­struc­tive dia­logue and coöper­a­tion in region­al rela­tions in North­east Asia. The four schol­ars on the pan­el will present their per­spec­tives and engage in dis­cus­sion with the aim of pro­vid­ing new insights on such ques­tions as where these mem­o­ries come from, why his­tor­i­cal mem­o­ry con­flict seems so intractable, and what can be done to over­come the cur­rent “his­tor­i­cal mem­o­ry wars.”

The pan­el will con­sist of Bruce Cum­ings of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Chica­go His­to­ry Depart­ment; Tes­sa Morris‐Suzuki, pro­fes­sor of Japan­ese his­to­ry at the Aus­tralian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty; Man­fred Hen­ningsen of the UH Mānoa Depart­ment of Polit­i­cal Sci­ence; and Paula S. Har­rell of George­town Uni­ver­si­ty, a China‐Japan his­to­ri­an. The dis­cus­sion will be mod­er­at­ed by Hagen Koo, pro­fes­sor of soci­ol­o­gy at UH Mānoa.

This event is free and open to the pub­lic. For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, con­tact the Cen­ter for Japan­ese Stud­ies by tele­phone at (808) 956‑2665 or by e‐mail at