The Korea Institute is devoted solely to the support and development of Korean Studies at Harvard, as the central hub for Harvard faculty, students, leading scholars in the field, and visitors to join together as a community for the study of Korea.
The Korea Institute was established in 1981 under the aegis of the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research, and in 1993 it became an autonomous institution directly responsible to the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. It is the only organization devoted solely to the support and development of Korean Studies at Harvard.
The late Professor Edward W. Wagner was the Institute’s first director and guided the Institute in its early years. It was during Professor Wagner’s tenure that the Korea Colloquium was inaugurated and the first summer travel grants for students were awarded. Since 1993 the Institute experienced a major expansion under the directorship of Professor Carter J. Eckert. During the eleven years under Professor Eckert’s leadership, many new programs were put into place, including additional student grants and fellowships, postdoctoral fellowships, and graduate student support. In 2004, Professor David McCann, Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Literature, became the third director of the Institute. Since then, the Institute expanded programmatic activities on campus, particularly in the areas of undergraduate and graduate student support. In 2011, the Korea Institute's 30th Anniversary Year, Professor Sun Joo Kim, Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History, became the Institute's fourth director, leading a new decade of exciting growth in Harvard Korean Studies.
The Korea Institute is an integral and dynamic part of the intellectual life at Harvard. In addition to the Korea Colloquium, the Institute also supports numerous lectures, workshops, and conferences throughout the year, led by Institute faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows. The Institute has a number of visiting scholars, fellows and associates through an affiliated scholars program. Other activities include faculty research projects, undergraduate and graduate student support, teaching, study and work in Korea programs, Korean film screenings and some cultural events. The Institute has also established a wide-ranging network of collaborative relationships with other centers and departments throughout the University and with colleagues and institutions throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
The Institute is housed in the Center for Government and International Studies Building (CGIS), 1730 Cambridge Street. Located in the heart of the University and in the midst of the other international centers, the Institute continues to support an expanding Korean studies program while also seeking opportunities for cross-center and international cooperation in exciting new intellectual projects that transcend national boundaries.
Past and Current Directors
Edward W. Wagner: 1981 - 1993
Carter J. Eckert: 1993 - 2004
David R. McCann: 2004 - 2011
Sun Joo Kim: 2011 - Present
Korea Institute Statement on Harassment and Discrimination
The Korea Institute reaffirms its unambiguous commitment to the policy and practice of zero tolerance of sexual harassment, gender-based disparity of treatment, racism, and other forms of discrimination.
We remain firmly committed to fostering an atmosphere of safe and healthy engagement with each other as faculty members, staff, students, affiliates, and visitors. We will continue to work with the Harvard community and the broader higher education community to promote safe work environments for everyone. Further, we are committed to participating in efforts to improve the culture of Harvard so that all may achieve their full potential.
If you have any concerns or suggestions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us, Title IX officers, or other sources of support at Harvard such as the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (OSAPR), which protects the confidentiality of all members in our community who wish to utilize this resource.
Sun Joo Kim
Director, Korea Institute