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.
Professor 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.
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 https://ckshi.org/2NlKRan.