2020 Jul 30

    The Korean War at 70: Revisiting the Role of Intelligence

    12:00pm to 1:45pm


    Zoom Webinar

    Joint Korea Project - Intelligence Project Zoom Webinar

    RSVP: Click HERE

    12:00 PM: Opening Session

    John Park, Director, Korea Project, Harvard Kennedy School – Overview 
    Paul Kolbe, Director, Intelligence Project, Harvard Kennedy School – Welcoming Remarks

    Andrew Kim, Fellow, Korea Project, Harvard Kennedy School; Former Assistant Director of CIA for the Korea Mission Center – Opening Remarks

    12:15 PM: Panel Discussion

    Markus Garlauskas, Former National Intelligence Officer for North Korea, National Intelligence Council, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Karen Gibson, Former Deputy Director for National Security Partnerships, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
    Blaine Harden, Journalist and Author of King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America’s Spymaster in Korea
    Kathryn Weathersby, 
    Adjunct Professor of Asian Studies at Georgetown University; Author of “Soviet Aims in Korea and the Origins of the Korean War, 1945-1950: New Evidence from Russian Archives”

    Moderated by John Park, Director, Korea Project, Harvard Kennedy School

    1:15 PM: Q&A

    For more information:

    The Harvard Korea Project acknowledges the generous support of the Korea Foundation... Read more about The Korean War at 70: Revisiting the Role of Intelligence

    2020 Jun 24

    Merit or Inheritance?: How Young Adults Understand Inequality in Japan and Korea

    4:00pm to 5:00pm


    Online Event

    Edwin O. Reischauer Institute Japan Forum Lecture Series; co-sponsored by the Weatherhead Center Program on U.S.-Japan Relations and the Korea Institute
    6/24 Japan Forum Event Poster

    Yuki Asahina
    Reischauer Institute Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University (PhD Sociology, University of Hawai`i 2019)

    Moderated by Mary Brinton, Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology and Director, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University

    ... Read more about Merit or Inheritance?: How Young Adults Understand Inequality in Japan and Korea

    2020 May 27

    Reassessing Global Governance: What are the Geopolitical and Geoeconomic Implications of COVID-19?

    9:00am to 10:50am


    Online Streaming Event (YouTube)
    KF-Harvard Belfer Center Virtual Dialogue (Online Streaming Event)
    KF-Harvard Belfer Center Virtual Dialogue

    RSVP: Click HERE

    9:00 AM  Welcoming Remarks
    Speaker: Aditi Kumar (Executive Director, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School)

    9:05 AM  Opening Remarks
    Speaker: Dr. LEE Geun (President, Korea Foundation)

    9:10 AM  Panel 1: Geopolitical Implications
    Context: In a world changed by COVID-19, leaders will have to adapt to a host of rapidly evolving challenges and opportunities. On the international level, the growing trend among leaders has been competition rather than cooperation.  What are the specific ways in which the rise of geopolitics will impact global governance during the new normal of co-existing with COVID-19? What is the role of national actors in this new normal?

    Moderator: Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Harvard Kennedy School)
    Speakers: Professor Joseph Nye, Jr. (University Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School); Professor YOON Young-kwan (Former ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs; Professor of International Relations Emeritus, Seoul National University)

    9:30 AM  Q&A

    10:00 AM  Panel 2: Geoeconomic Implications
    Context: To flatten the curve and tame the global spread of COVID-19, national authorities like the U.S. government have implemented what economist Jason Furman has called “a medically induced coma” of their economies. How will leaders balance public health goals with the need to restart their economies? What are the main geoeconomic implications of national actors operating in a global environment lacking robust cooperation and economic policy coordination?

    Moderator: Dr. John Park (Director, Korea Project, Harvard Kennedy School)

    Speakers: Professor LEE Jaemin (Professor of International Law, School of Law, Seoul National University); Dr. Christopher Smart (Chief Global Strategist and Head of the Barings Investment Institute; Former Special Assistant to the President at the National Economic Council)

    10:20 AM  Q&A

    10:50 AM  Adjourn

    The Korea Project acknowledges the generous support of the Korea Foundation for this event.

    ... Read more about Reassessing Global Governance: What are the Geopolitical and Geoeconomic Implications of COVID-19?

    2020 Mar 05

    Millennial North Korea: Cell Phones, Forbidden Media, and Living Creatively under Surveillance

    4:30pm to 6:30pm


    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs

    Suk-Young Kim
    Professor of Theater and Performance Studies; Director of the Center for Performance Studies, UCLA

    Suk-Young Kim's research interests cover a wide range of academic disciplines, such as East Asian Performance and Visual Culture, Gender and Nationalism, Korean Cultural Studies, Russian Literature and Slavic Folklore. Her publications have appeared in English, German, Korean, Polish and Russian while her research has been acknowledged by the International Federation for Theatre Research's New Scholar's Prize (2004), the American Society for Theater Research Fellowship (2006), the Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship (2006-7) and the Academy of Korean Studies Research Grant (2008, 2010, 2015-2020), among others. Her first book, Illusive Utopia:Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea (University of Michigan Press, 2010), the winner of the 2013 James Palais Book Prize from the Association for Asian Studies, explores how state-produced propaganda performances intersect with everyday life practice in North Korea. Her second book, DMZ Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border (Columbia University Press, 2014), focuses on various types of inter-Korean border crossers who traverse one of the most heavily guarded areas in the world to redefine Korean citizenship as based on emotional affiliations rather than constitutional delineations. In 2015, DMZ Crossing was recognized with the Association for Theater in Higher Education Outstanding Book Award. In collaboration with Kim Yong, she also co-authored Long Road Home (Columbia University Press, 2009), which investigates transnational human rights and the efficacy of oral history through the testimony of a North Korean labor camp survivor.

    Sponsored by the 2014-15 ACLS/SSRC/NEH International and Area Studies Fellowship, she recently published K-pop Live: Fans, Idols, and Multimedia Performance (Stanford University Press, 2018). This project traces the rapid rise of Korean popular music (K-pop) in relation to the equally meteoric rise of digital consumerism — a phenomenon mostly championed by the widespread development of high-speed Internet and the distribution of mobile gadgets — and situates their tenacious partnership in the historical context of Korea from the early 1990s to the present day. She is currently working on several book-length projects: Media and Technology in North Korea, Korean Language Theater in Kazakhstan and Russian Theatrical Costumes and the Vestige of Empire.

    Kim served on the editorial board of the Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia and is currently at work as a senior editor for the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. She also sits on the editorial board of the Journal of Korean Studies and serves on the advisory committee for the Hong Kong University Book Series Crossings: Asian Cinema and Media Culture.

    Kim previously taught at Dartmouth College and UC Santa Barbara. She received her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Theatre and Drama with a Certificate in Gender Studies from Northwestern University in 2005 and her Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2001.

    Chaired by Alexander Zahlten, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

    North Korea might be known as the world’s most secluded society, but it has witnessed the rapid rise of media technologies in the new millennium. While the North Korean state is anxiously trying to catch up with the world standard of communication technology, it is also faced with the need to block free influx of outside information by allowing only intranet to its people. In a country where smuggling foreign media still can be punished by public execution, how do North Koreans manage to access outside information? This project explores how the expansion of new media technology complicates the country’s seemingly monolithic facade mired in entangled networks of technology and surveillance, intellectual property and copyrights, and the way for millennials to live creatively with censorship.

    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation.... Read more about Millennial North Korea: Cell Phones, Forbidden Media, and Living Creatively under Surveillance

    2020 Mar 02

    Film Screening of “Shusenjo”



    Tsai Auditorium (S010), CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Film Screening & Discussion with the Director; jointly sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, the Kim Koo Forum at the Korea Institute, and the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

    miki_profilepic.jpg 1

    Miki Dezaki
    Film Director

    Miki Dezaki is a recent graduate (March 2018) of the Graduate Program in Global Studies at Sophia University in Tokyo. He worked for the Japan Exchange Teaching Program for five years in Yamanashi and Okinawa before becoming a Buddhist monk in Thailand for one year. He is also known as "Medamasensei" on Youtube, where he has made comedy videos and videos on social issues in Japan. His most notable video is "Racism in Japan," which led to numerous online attacks by Japanese neo-nationalists who attempted to deny the existence of racism and discrimination against Zainichi Koreans (Koreans with permanent residency in Japan) and Burakumin (historical outcasts still discriminated today). "Shusenjo" is his directorial debut.

    Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University
    James Robson, James C. Kralik and Yunli Lou Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations; Victor and William Fung Director, Harvard University Asia Center 
    Karen Thornber, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor in Literature; Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

    About the Movie:
    The "comfort women" issue is perhaps Japan’s most contentious present-day diplomatic quandary. Inside Japan, the issue is dividing the country across clear ideological lines. Supporters and detractors of "comfort women" are caught in a relentless battle over empirical evidence, the validity of oral testimony, the number of victims, the meaning of sexual slavery, and the definition of coercive recruitment. Credibility, legitimacy and influence serve as the rallying cry for all those involved in the battle. In addition, this largely domestic battleground has been shifted to the international arena, commanding the participation of various state and non-state actors and institutions from all over the world. This film delves deep into the most contentious debates and uncovers the hidden intentions of the supporters and detractors of comfort women. Most importantly it finds answers to some of the biggest questions for Japanese and Koreans: Were comfort women prostitutes or sex slaves? Were they coercively recruited? And, does Japan have a legal responsibility to apologize to the former comfort women?

    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation... Read more about Film Screening of “Shusenjo”

    2020 Feb 25

    Prayers for Divine Protection: The Temple God (1885) of Hŭngch’ŏnsa and the Cult of Guan Yu

    4:30pm to 6:00pm


    Barker 133, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

    Harvard Buddhist Studies Forum; co-sponsored by the Korea Institute

    Seunghye Lee
    Curator of Buddhist Art, Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

    Seunghye Lee holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Chicago with a specialty in Chinese and Korean Buddhist art. Currently, she is Curator at Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, where she co-curated the exhibition “Exquisite and Precious: The Splendor of Korean Art” in 2015 and edited its catalogue. She has also held a position at the Academy of Buddhist Studies, Dongguk University, where she participated in a nation-wide survey of Buddhist manuscripts and xylographs in temple collections. Her research focuses on the relationship between Buddhist art and practices of worship in China and Korea from the tenth to the twentieth centuries. Her major publications include an annotated English translation with introduction of Go Yuseop’s A Study of Korean Pagodas: Joseon tappa ui yeon’gu (Seoul: Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, 2017); “Hall of Underground Palace of the Tianfeng Pagoda: Changing Form, Function, and Meaning of Reliquary Space in Southern Song China” (Chicago: Art Media Resources, 2019) and “Aspirations for Pure Land Embodied in a Modern Buddhist Temple, Anyang’am” (Acta Koreana 22, no. 1, 2019). She is working on a monograph on the consecration of Korean Buddhist images, while continuing her research on modern Korean Buddhism and Buddhist art.

    Korean Buddhist temples rarely dedicate shrines to tutelary deities or enshrine visual representations of them in worship halls. The Temple God (1885), hung in the main hall of Hŭngch’ŏnsa in today’s Seoul, is a rare example. In this painting, the main deity sits at the center, solemnly facing front. Its iconographical features demonstrate visual affinities with cultic images of Guan Yu, the legendary Chinese marshal who was deified and worshipped as Kwanwang or “King Kwan” in late Chosŏn Korea. Intriguing visual similarities between this Buddhist deity and Guan Yu have not been examined thoroughly in previous studies of late Chosŏn Buddhist paintings. The cult of the Chinese god, which enjoyed unparalleled support from the royal court and commoners during King Kojong’s reign, seems to have been a major factor behind this unlikely iconographical borrowing. By closely analyzing the Temple God against the religious and visual culture of the late nineteenth century, this talk sheds new light on the religious syncretism reflected in the painting and implications behind the royal patronage of the Guan Yu cult in a time of political chaos and upheaval.... Read more about Prayers for Divine Protection: The Temple God (1885) of Hŭngch’ŏnsa and the Cult of Guan Yu

    2020 Feb 20

    Korea’s America: A Power Intertwined with Korean Sovereignty, 1882-1945

    4:30pm to 6:30pm


    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    SBS Seminar

    Hanmee Na Kim
    Assistant Professor of History, Wheaton College

    Hanmee Na Kim is an Assistant Professor of History at Wheaton College. Her research interests include Americanism in Korea, Korea-U.S. diplomatic/cultural/intellectual interactions (1866-1945), and Korean students in the U.S. (1884-1960). Her work is published in Positions: Asia Critique, and she is currently working on a book manuscript on the development of Americanism in Korea. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Korean History from UCLA.

    Chaired by Carter Eckert, Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History, Harvard University

    From 1882 to 1943, the United States officially and consistently maintained its policy of non-interference in Korea and emphasized that it remained disinterested.  And yet, a significant group of Korean elites during this period continually articulated, believed in, and strategically used the idea that America was a supporter of Korean sovereignty.  This talk explores how and why this tendency materialized by examining the nature of early Korea-U.S. relations (1882-1905) as well as the activities and discourse of Korean students in the U.S. during the colonial period. Through this exploration, the talk asserts that there developed a Korean version of America during this period—an “America” that was intricately linked with Korean dynamics, interests, and issues and less concerned with the actual political characteristics of the U.S. This discussion offers a way to historically trace, in part, the development of Americanism in Korea.

    Generously supported by the Korea Institute’s SBS Foundation Research Fund... Read more about Korea’s America: A Power Intertwined with Korean Sovereignty, 1882-1945

    2020 Feb 06

    Film Screening: Jeronimo

    7:00pm to 9:00pm


    Belfer Case Study Room (S020), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Film Screening & Discussion with the Director; organized by the Harvard Korean Association and co-sponsored by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies and the Korea Institute at Harvard University

    Joseph Hoo Juhn
    Film Director

    About the Documentary
    Born in 1926 to Korean indentured servant parents in Cuba, Jeronimo joins the Cuban revolution and crosses paths with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, before turning to his Korean roots and identity.

    On December 28, 2015, I went to Cuba for one week of backpacking. To my surprise, the first Cuban I met was a middle-aged Asian lady, who was waiting for me at the airport to transport me to a hostel I booked only several days before. As we hit the road, I got curious and asked about her ethnic background. She told me that she was a fourth generation Korean Cuban. Right then and there I knew that this trip was meant for something much larger than cigar-smoking and mojito-drinking.

    Having always been interested in the notion of Korean Diaspora – Koreans outside of Korea forming their own communities while retaining their identity – I was intrigued and excitedly asked many questions. Welcoming such curiosity, the lady, Patricia Lim, invited me to her family's place for the next day, to meet with her mother, son, brother and other extended family members. Needless to say, this visit was the beginning of a life-changing experience.

    Patricia's mother, Cristina, then 87, sat me down and brought out dozens of photo albums, sharing with me an epic tale of the family’s history. Cristina's husband, Jeronimo Lim, who had passed away 10 years earlier, was a revolutionary fighter in the Cuban revolution. He went to law school with Fidel Castro and later worked with Che Guevara in the new Cuban government. Yes, 'unbelievable' is the right word.

    As I was listening to these adventures, I became overwhelmed with such a sense of conviction that this story had to be shared with the world – particularly those in Korea and Korean communities around the world.

    So, I decided to make a feature-length documentary about the Lim family and Koreans in Cuba at large. In August 2016, returned to Cuba for two weeks with a wonderful film crew of five. We met with over one-hundred Korean Cubans and interviewed over thirty of them to hear their accounts of history. It was a trip that changed my life for certain and I can't wait to share the untold stories of Koreans in Cuba with the public.

    I believe that this film is of historic importance. I am doing this without any outside help so any help you could provide, I am much grateful for. I ask you to join me on this journey to discover one of the most magical, dramatic and painful – yet beautiful – chapters of modern Korean history. Indeed, a story as powerful as this one is needed in a time like this.

    - Joseph Juhn -

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    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation

    ... Read more about Film Screening: Jeronimo

    2020 Feb 06

    Scholarly Dissidence in Early Chosŏn: Disengaging Scholars and Alternative Ways of Serving

    4:30pm to 6:30pm


    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Korea Colloquium

    Diana Yuksel
    Assistant Professor of Korean Language and Literature, University of Bucharest; Fulbright Visiting Scholar, Korea Institute, Harvard University

    Chaired by Sun Joo Kim, Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History; Director, Korea Institute, Harvard University

    Generously supported by the Min Young-Chul Memorial Fund at the Korea Institute... Read more about Scholarly Dissidence in Early Chosŏn: Disengaging Scholars and Alternative Ways of Serving