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 https://ckshi.org/2NlKRan.

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