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

Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies in Social Science, University of Toronto

University of Toronto logoThe Fac­ul­ty of Arts and Sci­ence of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to invites appli­ca­tions for the Korea Foun­da­tion Chair in Kore­an Stud­ies in Social Sci­ence. This is an endowed chair posi­tion, to be appoint­ed at the rank of assis­tant or asso­ciate pro­fes­sor, in the Depart­ment of Anthro­pol­o­gy, the Depart­ment of East Asian Stud­ies, or the Depart­ment of Soci­ol­o­gy. Appoint­ment will be for a five‐year term, renew­able fol­low­ing a favor­able review. This tenure‐stream appoint­ment will be effec­tive July 1, 2015.

The suc­cess­ful can­di­date must have a Ph.D. in a rel­e­vant dis­ci­pline and demon­strate excel­lence in research through a strong record of schol­ar­ship and pub­li­ca­tion with a focus on Korea. Evi­dence of excel­lence in teach­ing and a demon­strat­ed com­mit­ment to grad­u­ate edu­ca­tion and men­tor­ship are required. Pref­er­ence will be giv­en to a schol­ar work­ing in Kore­an lan­guage and able to com­ple­ment the research and teach­ing spe­cial­ties of the fac­ul­ty work­ing in Kore­an stud­ies. The Korea Foun­da­tion Chair will be expect­ed to assume a lead­er­ship role in devel­op­ing and strength­en­ing the Cen­tre for the Study of Korea at the Asian Insti­tute in the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs.

Salary will be com­men­su­rate with qual­i­fi­ca­tions and expe­ri­ence.

All qual­i­fied can­di­dates are invit­ed to apply by vis­it­ing Appli­ca­tions should include a cov­er let­ter, cur­ricu­lum vitae, a state­ment of cur­rent and future research inter­ests, a state­ment of teach­ing phi­los­o­phy, and a writ­ing sam­ple. All qual­i­fied can­di­dates are encour­aged to apply; how­ev­er, Cana­di­ans and per­ma­nent res­i­dents will be giv­en pri­or­i­ty.

If you have ques­tions about this posi­tion, please con­tact All appli­ca­tion mate­ri­als should be sub­mit­ted online.

Sub­mis­sion guide­lines can be found at: It is rec­om­mend­ed that attached doc­u­ments into be com­bined into one or two files in PDF/MW word for­mat.

Appli­cants should also ask three ref­er­ees to send let­ters direct­ly via e‐mail to by the clos­ing date, Feb­ru­ary 20, 2015.

Call for Papers: 13th Annual East Asian Studies Graduate Student Conference at Toronto

Con­test­ed Spaces: The 13th Annu­al East Asian Stud­ies Grad­u­ate Stu­dent Con­fer­ence takes place at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Sat­ur­day, March 2, 2013. Prof. Lisa Kim Davis of UCLA will deliv­er the keynote speech.

Using East Asia as a point of depar­ture, the con­fer­ence chal­lenges speak­ers to inter­ro­gate our under­stand­ing of space and soci­ety in all dis­ci­plines, includ­ing his­to­ry, geog­ra­phy, soci­ol­o­gy, lit­er­a­ture, and anthro­pol­o­gy. Pos­si­ble top­ics for papers include impe­ri­al­ism, col­o­niza­tion, and decol­o­niza­tion; urban­iza­tion, gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, and uneven devel­op­ment; spaces of pro­duc­tion and repro­duc­tion; vir­tu­al spaces and real spaces; gen­dered spaces; nation­al­ism and/or social move­ments; and East Asia as dis­cur­sive space.

Those inter­est­ed in pre­sent­ing papers should sub­mit an abstract (300 words max­i­mum) along with some brief bio­graph­i­cal infor­ma­tion (name, affil­i­a­tion, and research inter­ests) by Decem­ber 7, 2012. Pre­sen­ta­tions should be 20 min­utes in length (1,500–2,000 word papers). Select­ed par­tic­i­pants will be asked to sub­mit com­plet­ed papers by Feb­ru­ary 15, 2013. Sub­mis­sions may be for an indi­vid­ual or a pan­el. Pan­el sub­mis­sions must include one abstract per par­tic­i­pant, up to three per­sons.

Send queries and pro­pos­als by e‐mail to Fur­ther infor­ma­tion will be post­ed on the Web site at