Past Events

  • 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 25

    [CANCELED] - Fearing the Worst: How War in Korea Transformed the Cold War

    12:15pm to 2:00pm


    Room S354, 3rd Floor, CGIS South Building, 1730 Cambridge Street, MA 02138


    Cold War Studies Seminar; sponsored by the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and co-sponsored by the Korea Institute’s SBS Foundation Research Fund

    Read more about [CANCELED] - Fearing the Worst: How War in Korea Transformed the Cold War
  • 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”