Events

    2020 May 04

    Manchurian Modern: the Root of the Korean Developmental State

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

    Porte Seminar Room (S250), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs
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    Suk-Jung Han
    President, Dong-A University

    In his graduate studies at the University of Chicago, Suk-Jung Han opened up the Japanese puppet state Manchukuo, long sealed in Korean and Chinese anti-colonial nationalism. He detachedly applied state theories to its state formation and emphasized its state effect in his dissertation, “State effect of Manchukuo, 1932-1936”. Since then, the implication of Manchukuo has become his long interest. He published a book in Korean, Manchukuk kŏnkuk ŭi Chaehaesŏk (reinterpreting making of Manchukuo) (1999, revised in 2007) and translated Prof. Duara’s Sovereignty and Authenticity; Manchukuo and East Asian Modern (2003) into Korean in 2008. He recently wrote Manchu Motŏn (Manchurian Modern) (2016) on the influence of Manchukuo to Korean developmental state.

    In Korea, he organized the Manchurian Studies Association in 1999. It is a rare interdisciplinary forum, focusing on Manchurian studies, composed of scholars in the fields of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and Russian pre-modern and modern history, literature, geography, political science, and sociology. Its journal, Manchu yonku has attained the accreditation of Korea Research Foundation (KCI class) and is given its financial support.

    For the last two decades, he has been invited to talks on Manchurian issue at various schools (Harvard, University of Chicago, Bonn University, and those in Korea, Japan). After publishing his recent book, he was invited to book reviews eight times in Korea. And he has collected the relevant data at several institutes (the International Research Center for Japanese Studies in Kyoto for two years, Heilongjiang Provincial Library, Asia Research Institute of Singapore National University, etc.). He once taught classes on modern Korea (the State and Society in Contemporary Korea, Resistance Literature, etc.) at the University of California, Irvine as a Fulbright scholar.    

    He has taught historical sociology at Dong-A University for over 30 years. He has been in administration as Dean of Social Sciences, Vice President, Provost, and President (2016-). In the late 1970s, he was the only person who worked for ‘three enfant terrible’ trading companies (Yulsan, Chese, and Taepong Trading Co.), whose dramatic rise and fall inspired some novels and TV dramas. He subsequently became a journalist for Hankuk ilbo (Korea Daily) and witnessed the historic upheaval after ex-president Park Chung Hee’s assassination (called, the ‘Spring of Seoul’ in 1980), which briefly decompressed his regime but was finally settled down by Gen. Chun Doo Hwan’s military coup.

    In his 40s, he participated in amateur boxing match twice in Pusan, hiding his age. In his 50s, he legitimately joined the national professional boxing match, held once and for all for people in their 40s and 50s.  

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

    Abstract
    Manchukuo, long sealed in the Chinese and Korean nationalist discourse, actually is the black box for the South Korean developmental state. Japanese empire was a kind of cultural order in which modern institutes and ideas, including the expertise of state-making, were diffused. Manchukuo was the vital link in a series of state-making in the empire from the late 19th century. It was the proto type of other colonial states and the future South Korean state.

    Colonialism surely was painful calamity for the colonized. However, it might be the moment for their adaptation of modernity to overtake even ex-rulers. Economic development and mobilization in Manchukuo style of the Southern regime would become the base for its Cold War race with the Northern regime and potentially with Japan in some realms in some future.

    The Korea Institute acknowledges the generous support of the Kim Koo Foundation.... Read more about Manchurian Modern: the Root of the Korean Developmental State

    2020 Apr 27

    Global Healing: Literature, Advocacy, Care

    4:00pm to 6:00pm

    Location: 

    Thomas Chan-Soo Kang Room (S050), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138
    Harvard-Yenching Library Book Talk; co-sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center, the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and the Korea Institute at Harvard University

    Karen Thornber, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor in Literature; Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

    Chaired by Sunil Amrith, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian History; Interim Director, Mahindra Humanities Center, Harvard University
    2020 Apr 23

    Stitching the 24-hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Korea Colloquium
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    Seo Young Park
    Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology, Scripps Colleges

    http://www.scrippscollege.edu/academics/faculty/profile/seo-young-park

    Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    TBA

    Generously supported by the Min Young-Chul Memorial Fund at the Korea Institute.... Read more about Stitching the 24-hour City: Life, Labor, and the Problem of Speed in Seoul

    2020 Apr 16

    Colonizing Language: Cultural Production and Language Politics in Modern Japan and Korea

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Korea Colloquium; co-sponsored by the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies
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    Christina Yi
    Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Literature at the University of British Columbia

    Christina Yi is Assistant Professor of Modern Japanese Literature at the University of British Columbia. She received her Ph.D. in Modern Japanese Literature from Columbia University. She is a specialist of modern Japanese-language literature and culture, with a particular focus on issues of postcoloniality, language ideology, genre, and gender. Her first monograph, Colonizing Language: Cultural Production and Language Politics in Modern Japan and Korea, was published by Columbia University Press in 2018. Her current research project investigates the discursive formation and theoretical limits of “repatriation literature” (hikiage bungaku) through an examination of fiction, essays, and memoirs on the subject of repatriation, by both Japanese and non-Japanese writers.

    Chaired by Si Nae Park, Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    What happens to narratives of empire in the wake of empire’s collapse? In other words, what kinds of new narratives are made possible – and what kinds are occluded – when the language(s) of empire and its borders are made to undergo radical change? In this book talk, Christina Yi will explore such questions by considering the cases of Chang Hyŏkchu (1905–1997) and Yuzurihara Masako (1911–1949), two writers of Japanese-language literature whose career trajectories complicated the divisions of time and space that were so celebrated by others following Japan’s unconditional surrender to the Allied Powers in 1945. Both Chang and Yuzurihara had direct experience living under Japanese colonial rule, the former as a Korean colonial subject and the latter as a Japanese settler in Karafuto. Both also found that the terms of the “postwar” present ironically precluded them from coming to terms with the terms of the past. This talk will elaborate on this point by comparing Chang’s “Intimidation” (Kyōhaku, 1953) with Yuzurihara’s “Korean Lynching” (Chōsen yaki, 1949) and, in doing so, offer some thoughts on both the possibilities and limits of national literatures constructed after empire’s end.

    Generously supported by the Sunshik Min Endowment for the Advancement of Korean Literature at the Korea Institute, Harvard University.... Read more about Colonizing Language: Cultural Production and Language Politics in Modern Japan and Korea

    2020 Apr 09

    Cold War’s Nature: The Korean Demilitarized Zone and Mid-Century American Science

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

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

    SBS Seminar
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    Eleana Kim
    Associate Professor, Anthropology, University of California, Irvine

    Eleana Kim is a sociocultural anthropologist and author of Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging (Duke UP, 2010), which received the 2012 James B. Palais Prize from the Association of Asian Studies, and the 2012 Social Science Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. She is currently completing an ethnography on multispecies encounters in the Korean Demilitarized Zone, based on five years of fieldwork and archival research, funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the ACLS. Related articles have been published in Cultural Anthropology, Social Research, and the edited volume, How Nature Works (SAR Press, 2019). She is an associate professor in the Anthropology Department and affiliated faculty of the Asian American Studies Department at University of California, Irvine.

    Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    Since the early 2000s, international media coverage of the interKorean conflict has frequently included stories about the rare and endangered species that live in the DMZ, a buffer area borne out of the Korean War. This “accidental” natural sanctuary is framed in mythical, ahistorical terms––an ecological paradise blossoming out of unending war and symbolizing nature’s resilience. Drawing on archives from the Smithsonian Institution and South Korean sources, this talk offers a critical, transnational history of the DMZ’s ecology, tracing its origins to the mid-1960s, when a network of U.S. conservationists and Smithsonian ecologists first identified and constructed it as an “outdoor laboratory” within the emerging paradigm of “ecosystem science.” Beginning in 1965, American and South Korean scientists began collaborating on studies of the DMZ as a militarily protected space of ecological recovery and as a baseline for understanding the ecological effects of industrialization on the rest of South Korea, which was undergoing rapid transformations under the authoritarian regime of Park Chung Hee. The DMZ’s ecology is an example of what I call “Cold War’s nature,” entangled within and reproductive of American scientific and political exceptionalism during a period of rising environmental awareness and expanding U.S. military empire. The DMZ area has since proven to be less of a “baseline” than a fragile refuge where ongoing militarization and incursions of capital are threatening actually existing life forms. I conclude by drawing upon ethnographic research on human-nonhuman assemblages in the DMZ area to ask what theoretical and political possibilities might be offered by a multispecies approach to the study of “Cold War legacies” and the ongoing Korean War.

     

    Generously supported by the Korea Institute’s SBS Foundation Research Fund

    ... Read more about Cold War’s Nature: The Korean Demilitarized Zone and Mid-Century American Science

    2020 Mar 24

    The Political Constraints to Economic Growth in Asia

    2:00pm to 4:00pm

    Location: 

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

    Harvard-Yenching Institute Annual Roundtable; co-sponsored by the Harvard University Asia Center and the Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs at the Korea Institute

    Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Ashoka University
    Kaoru Sugihara, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Kyoto
    Taeyoon Sung, Yonsei University
    Kellee Tsai, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Yang Yao, Peking University

    Moderated by Elizabeth Perry,...

    Read more about The Political Constraints to Economic Growth in Asia
    2020 Mar 13

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

    4:15pm to 5:45pm

    Location: 

    Porte Seminar Room (S250), CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138

    Edwin O. Reischauer Institute Japan Forum Lecture Series; co-sponsored by the Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs at the Harvard Korea Institute and the Weatherhead Center Program on U.S.-Japan Relations
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    Yuki Asahina
    ...

    Read more about Merit or Inheritance?: How Young Adults Understand Inequality in Japan and Korea
    2020 Mar 12

    Feminism at Work?: The Unconventional Linkage of the Feminine and the Feminist in Contemporary South Korea

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

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

    SBS Distinguished Lecture in the Social Sciences
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    Hyun Mee Kim
    Professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology, Yonsei University

    Hyun Mee Kim is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology and the core faculty member for the Graduate Program in Culture and Gender Studies. Her research interests include gender, migration, critical cultural theories, urban and human ecology and globalization and labor. She has written articles on diverse migrants coming to South Korea including marriage migrants, asylum seekers and economic migrants. Her current research is on the formation of the therapeutic self and the emergence of city meditators in South Korea. She is the author of Cultural Translation in a Global Era (2005) and We Always Leave Home: Becoming Migrants in South Korea (2014), and co-edited Intimate Enemy: How Neoliberalism Has Become Our Everyday Lives (2010), and We Are All People with Differences: Towards Multiculturalism for Co-existence (2013). She was a Committee Member for the Division of Human Rights for Foreigners, National Human Rights Commission of Korea (2008-2010) and is a member of the Forum on Human Rights for Migrant Women in South Korea.

    Chaired by Nicholas Harkness, Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University

    Abstract:
    The lecture analyzes how contemporary Korean women experience “gender” in their places of unstable employment by developing new ways of producing intimacy (or “fake” intimacy) and affective bonds with their co-workers. Their attention to intimacy is a dual reflection of the impact of neoliberal precarity on Korean young women and Korean feminism’s critique of marriage as an institution of the state. I focus on working women who have incorporated feminist ideas that demystify heterosexual norms and marriage. These ideas have recently materialized as the “4 non-” campaign and the “escape the corset” movement. The “4 non-” (non-marriage, non-birth, non-relationship and non-sex) campaign in particular has emerged in online forums as one of the most radical forms of gender politics in South Korea. However, young women who constantly change jobs need to perform—and invite—intimacy by presenting cheerful, motivated, and exaggerated feminine versions of themselves to co-workers. Drawing on extensive interviews with young working women, this presentation shows how Korean women negotiate the tensions and challenges of work, the performed self, and feminist politics to gain corporate citizenship and financial independence.

    Supported by the Seoul Broadcasting System (SBS) Endowment for Korean Studies at the Korea Institute, Harvard University... Read more about Feminism at Work?: The Unconventional Linkage of the Feminine and the Feminist in Contemporary South Korea

    2020 Mar 05

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

    4:30pm to 6:30pm

    Location: 

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

    Kim Koo Forum on Korea Current Affairs
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    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

    Abstract
    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”

    4:15pm

    Location: 

    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
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    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.

    Participants:
    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

    Location: 

    Barker 133, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

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

    Abstract
    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

    Location: 

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

    SBS Seminar
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    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

    Abstract:
    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

    Location: 

    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
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    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 -

    Related Articles
    https://www.asiancinevision.org/tag/jeronimo/
    http://povmagazine.com/articles/view/reel-asian-review-jeronimo
    https://sdaff.org/2019/movies/jeronimo/

    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

    Location: 

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

    Korea Colloquium
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    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