Academy of Korean Studies and the University of Washington     


On October 24th, 2011, the Center for Korea Studies signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS), and became the recipient of the Overseas Leading University Program for Korean Studies grant, part of the AKS' Korean Studies Promotion Service. This grant will bring an additional $1 million to the Korea Studies program at the University of Washington.   This is a historic event, not only because is it the second time the University of Washington has received such a grant from AKS, but also because this year the UW is one of only three recipients nationally, and one of only six worldwide.  Starting this autumn,  the grant will provide greatly increased funding for research, events, scholarships, and other projects at the Center for Korea Studies.


What's Happening at the Center for Korea Studies? - 행사




Youseop Shin
"Unstable Party Identification and Electoral Choice in South Korea"


Thomson Hall 317
Thursday, June 6 @ 3:30PM


Youseop Shin will explore the relationship between party identification and electoral choice in South Korea's 2007 Presidential Election.




Double Feature Book Launch

Presented by the Center for Korea Studies and the University of Washington Press

Thomson Hall 317
Tuesday, May 28 @ 3:30PM




Film Screening

Unfortunate Brothers: Korea's Reunification Dilemma*


Kane Hall 210
Monday, May 20, 2013 @ 6:00PM


Discussion with the directors Dodge Billingsley & Scott Thornton, and Brigham Young University Professor Mark Peterson.


 * A reception will follow the film screening and discussion.


Conversation with the Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Seattle*


"Whiter the Korean Peninsula?"


Gowen 201
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 @ 5:00PM



* A light dinner will be served.





Caren Freeman
"Paper is Thicker than Blood: Chosǒnjok Migrant at the Gates of South Korea"


Thomson Hall 317
Friday, April 5 @ 3:30PM


Caren Freeman will explore how the widespread tactics of faking kinship used by Chosǒnjok migrants to enter South Korea point to tensions between kin-based and document-based forms of ethnic identification. She will also offer an explanation of how these illicit practices became so thoroughly normalized, despite the undeniably disruptive effects they had on pre-existing norms of family life in northeastern China.


Aimee Lee
Hanji Unfurled: One Journey into Korean Papermaking*


East Asia Library
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 3:30PM


Aimee Lee, the leading American scholar on Korean papermaking and author of Hanji Unfurled, will chart the history of hanji, its rise in Korea and its demise via forces of modernization, colonization, and neglect.

* The book talk will be followed by hands-on demo.





Jaeeun Kim
"Seeking Asylum, Finding God: Religion and Moral Economy of Migrants’ Illegality"


Thomson Hall 317
Wednesday, March 6 @ 3:30PM


Jaeeun Kim will explore the nexus of migration, religion, and globalization, focusing on how the asylum procedures in contemporary immigration states create a novel field in which regulatory state authorities, upwardly mobile migrants, profit-seeking brokers, and evangelizing religions dynamically interact.


Kyung-soo Chun
Anthropology of Colonialism and War under Imperial Japan


Odegaard Library Room 220
Thursday, February 7, 2013 @ 3:30PM


Using the cases of South Korea and Taiwan, Dr. Kyung-soo Chun will examine the relationship between the study of anthropology and colonialism under Imperial Japan.




Jae H. Hyun
"Understanding the globalization of the Korean automobile industry and the implications for post-crisis growth of the Korean economy"


Thomson Hall 317
Wednesday, February 6 @ 3:30PM



Dr. Jae H. Hyun will review the globalization of South Korean automotive companies and discuss its implications for post-crisis growth of the country's economy in general.


Wonseok Choi
A Study on the Role and Task of South Korean Taxpayers' Organizations


Thomson 317
Thursday, January 17, 2013 @ 3:30PM


Dr. Wonseok Choi will examine taxpayers' organizations in South Korea from a comparative perspective and provide policy recommendations to the Korean Taxpayers Union and the Korea Taxpayers Association.



2012 South Korea Presidential Election: Panel Discussion with Yong-Chool Ha, Clark W. Sorensen, Jonathan Kang, Wang Hwi Lee, Beom-Shik Shin, and Sunil Kim


Thomson 317
Monday, January 14, 2013 @ 4:00PM


A panel of Korea specialists will offer an assessment of the recent 2012 presidential election in South Korea.




Wang Hwi Lee
"The Political Economy of Corporate Governance Reform after the Asian Financial Crisis"


Thomson Hall 317
Wednesday, January 9 @ 3:30PM



Dr. Wang Hwi Lee will examine South Korea's corporate reform after the 1997-98 Asian Financial Crisis.



Seongji Woo
"Balance of Dependence: The Making of North Korean Foreign Policy under Kim Jong-il"


Thomson Hall 317
Thursday, December 6 @ 3:30PM



Dr. Seongji Woo will discuss North Korea's foreign policy behavior from 1995 to 2011.


Dr. Sang Gil Lee
"Broadcasting and Cultural Hybridity in Colonial Korea: The Case of JODK Entertainment Programs (1927-28)"


Thomson Hall 317
Wednesday, November 28th @ 3:30PM

Dr. Sang Gil Lee will discuss how the dual-language (Japanese and Korean) broadcasting station offered an important avenue for cultural mingling and experimentation in Colonial Korea.



CedarBough T. Saeji
"Learning Is Never Done: Age and Performance in the Korean Context"


Thomson Hall 317
Monday, November 19 @ 3:30PM



Dr. Saeji will explore how long-standing indispensable ideas about transmission and aesthetics for traditional dance in South Korea result in staging of the elderly.


Mr. Gheewhan Kim & Dr. Abraham Kim
"Road to U.S.-Korea Global Partnership"


OUGL Room 220
Tuesday, October 23rd @ 4:00PM

Mr. Gheewhan Kim and Dr. Abraham Kim will discuss and analyze the important evolving relationship between the U.S. and South Korea, including the issues of economy, trade, security, and international development.


Dr. Jinhee Son
"Academically Talented Women in South Korea: Career Experiences and the Career Decision-Making Process"


Thomson Hall 317
Wednesday, October 17th @ 3:30PM


Dr. Son will examine the paradox of the recent increase in South Korea women's business opportunities and the inequality between men and women in the career market.


Jung-hwan Cheon
"On May and Martyrdom: Suicide in the South Korean Democracy Movement Seen Through the Case of Park Seunghee"


Thomson Hall 317
Tuesday, May 29th @ 3:30PM

This presentation deals with the social and ethical context of self immolation in Korea since the 1980’s. It examines, in particular, the ideology and ethical consciousness surrounding the death of a female university student, Seunghee Park.


Sang-Yoon Ma
“Between Scylla and
Charybdis: US Cold War
Strategy and the Question of
Democracy in South Korea, 1961-1972”

Thomson Hall 317

Wednesday, May 23rd @ 3:30PM


Dr. Ma will explore the motives and considerations behind US policy towards the question of democracy and dictatorship in South Korea during the years 1960 to 1972.




The first 2 volumes of the Center for Korea Studies Publication Series are now available digitally via the UW library and Project Muse. You can download the whole book or specific chapters

Volume 1: Northern Region of Korean: History, Identity, and Culture edited by Sun Joo Kim

Volume 2: Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era edited by Hyung-A Kim and Clark W. Sorensen

The Journal of Korean Studies is also available digitally! Our Spring issue is due out this JUNE!

Forum on 2012 National Assembly Elections in South Korea: Discussion panel with Yong Chool Ha, Clark W. Sorensen, Wang Hwi Lee, and Beom Shik Shin


Thomson Hall Room 317
Wednesday May 9th @ 3:30PM


The four experts will share their views and debate the significance of the controversial recent General Assembly Election in South Korea.The National Assembly elections occur every four years, while the presidential election occurs every five, so it is only once every twenty years in Korea’s election cycle that the national assembly and presidential elections are held in the same year.  

New Book - Colonial Rule and Social Change in Korea:  1910-1945


edited by Yongchool Ha, Hong Yung Lee, and Clark W. Sorensen


The Center for Korea Studies is publishing a new book!  Colonial Rule is forthcoming for a Fall 2012 launch.  



Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) Presents:

The People's Crisis Film Screening


Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

4-7PM @ Thomson Hall Room 135


Please join representatives from Liberty in North Korea in presenting their new documentary film, The People's Crisis.  This documentary offers a comprehensive overview of the North Korean people's crisis, featuring interviews with North Korean refugees who have escaped, their journey to freedom, expert analysis, and insight into some of the little-known grass-roots changes that are happening inside the country.

Korean Language Immersion Grant 2012 - Deadline: April 16th, 2012


The Korea Studies Program is pleased to announce the availability of an award of $3,000 for Korean language study at a Korean university for summer 2012.

One award will be given on a competitive basis to a University of Washington undergraduate or graduate student in good standing. Korea Studies and Korean Language and Literature majors will be given preference.


Kyung Sup Chang
Encountering Foreign Brides as Cosmopolitan Others: A Citizenship Perspective on
Transnational Marriages in Rural Korea


Thomson Hall Room 317

Wednesday, March 7, 2012 @ 3:00PM


“In late modern South Korea, rural villages have become the showcase arena of cosmopolitanization in terms of rapidly increasing marriages between Korean bachelors and foreign brides from various Asian countries. These marriage immigrants constitute the first non-Korean group to be accepted into full Korean legal citizenship as well as everyday social integration with Koreans."



Yukyong Choe
"Agencies, Roles, and Their Choices:
Reform of the Korean
Legal Profession from 1995 to 2007"

Law School Room 127
Wednesday February 22nd, 2012 3:30PM


"Northeast Asian countries including Japan, Korea, China, and Taiwan have recently considered adopting U.S.-style legal education as a revolutionary remedy to dissolve chronic problems of the pre-reform system."



Join us today at 3:30PM PST as our very own Dr. Clark W. Sorensen discusses Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era, 1961-1979. The book is his and Professor Hyung-a Kim's edited volume on development, political thought, democracy, and the cultural influence of the Park era. An important addition to work on this critical period, especially in light of the upcoming national election in Korea, this highly readable volume draws perspectives from across the political spectrum. Professor Sorensen will explore Park's legacy as seen through both historical and contemporary prisms.


UPDATE: Register for the 2012 Test of Proficiency in Korean (TOPIK)!

Test Date: April 14, 2012

Location: UW Seattle Campus

Registration Period:  January 16 - February 18, 2012


Please click the image at left to go to the TOPIK homepage, or here for more information regarding the 2012 TOPIK to be held on the UW campus.


Dr. Tae-Ung Baik -  “Criminal Process in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: The Origin of Human Rights Violations”


Wednesday, February 15th, 3:30PM

Thomson Hall 317
(refreshments provided)


The image of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been portrayed in different ways in front of the international community, which reflects the security, humanitarian, and human rights concerns of the world. Dr. Baik attempts to gauge the seriousness of human rights violations by looking into the criminal process in the country.


Young Wan Song, Korean Consul General of Seattle:  "North Korea's Nuclear Program after Kim Jong-il"


Wednesday, January 26th, 2:00-4:00PM

Kane Hall, Walker Ames Room

(refreshments provided)

"It is difficult to predict whether the succession from Kim Jong-il to his son will go smoothly in the long run. However, it is predictable that North Korea will choose, for the sake of its own survival, the time-tested tactic of repression at home and extortion from its neighbors, not to mention its most valuable and dangerous asset: its nuclear program."


Twice Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship in the Korean DMZ


Monday, January 23 @ 11:00AM

Thomson Hall Room 317

 (refreshments provided)

This lecture looks into a specific kind of political border crosser who transgresses the most strictly guarded inter-Korean border not only once, but twice: the first time to the other side, and the second time to come back to the place of their origin by crossing the DMZ.

Suk-Young Kim is Associate Professor of Theatre at the University of California at Santa Barbara.


A Study of Prenatal Education in Pre-modern Korea and China

(lecture in Korean)

January 11 @ 12PM

Thomson Hall Room 317


Dr. Jongseob Kim will give a lecture on his ongoing research regarding prenatal education in Shilla-era Korea and Zhou-era China.  Dr. Kim elucidates pre-modern East Asia's notions of the 'ideal human' through his study of related texts from that time period. 


Korean Literature Translation Contest for New Translators

LTI Korea holds the annual translation contest to help qualified amateur translators build up their professionalism.

More information


The Journal of Korean Studies

Volume 16 No. 2 (Fall 2011) Thematic Issue

"Unsettling the National in Korean Cinema" Guest Editor: JungBong Choi (New York University) Available in digital format. Click here.



Book Launch Party!

December 2, 2011 3:30-5:00pm

Thomson Hall Room 317


Please join the Center for Korea Studies and friends in celebrating the publication of our newest book, Reassessing the Park Chung Hee Era: 1961-1979.

"In just over three decades, South Korea transformed itself from an underdeveloped, agrarian country into an affluent, industrialized one. At the same time, democracy replaced a long series of military authoritarian regimes. These historic changes began under President Park Chung Hee, who seized power through a military coup in 1961 and ruled South Korea until his assassination on October 26, 1979."




Korea Days Seattle:  Negotiating with North Korea Policy Round Table & Buk and Blues East Meets West Music Performance


Policy Roundtable:

November 14 @ 3PM

Petersen Room, Allen Library



Buk and Blues:  November 14 @ 7PM

Kane Hall Auditorium 210



Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard, Ambassador Mark Minton, and Bob Carlin, Visiting Fellow, Stanford University, will hold a policy round table in the afternoon, followed in the evening by a Korean blues jam performance entitled Buk and Blues with musicians Vongku Pak, John Chang, and Jorge Mesa.




Global Music Korea: Global Beats from The Korea Society on Vimeo.

Encounter 2011

Thursday November 3rd 3-5PM

Thomson Hall Room 135


Authors Ha Sŏng-nan and Han Yu-ju and translator Bruce Fulton will appear at five
American universities in North America in November 2011 for a series of bilingual
readings and discussions. The tour begins in Seattle with a bilingual reading at the University Bookstore November 2 @7PM and will also include literary events at the University of Washington, November 3; the University of California, Irvine; Brigham Young University; the University of Minnesota; and the University of Georgia. During these visits the American reading public can meet two of contemporary Korea’s most promising fiction writers, hear samples of their works read in Korean and in English translation, and purchase copies of
the authors’ works in translation.


Hiding - Screening by Liberty in North Korea

Find out more about the plight of North Korean refugees and how the international community can take part in bringing about effective change.

Please join the Students for Korea Studies for a screening of "Hiding", LiNK's newest documentary, followed by a discussion with LiNK representatives.

October 20th, 2011
@Miller 301







13 May 2011 - Colloquium Speaker: Hyung Gu Lynn

Embracing the Doppelganger:
North Korea in Recent South Korean Films

This talk deals with representations of North Korea in several recent South Korean films.  More information..



24 May 2011 - Colloquium Speaker:

Jonathan Best

Hidden Histories:
Evidence of a Marriage Alliance between the Silla and Japanese Ruling Houses in the Late Seventh Century.  The twelfth-century Samguk sagi, and especially its chronicles of Silla and Paekche...   Read more...



Mark Peterson, Clark Sorensen and Mary O'Connor will speak on Korean Arts, Education, History, and North Korea Today.  Cost includes presentations, resource packet, Korean lunch, and 6 clock hours. Register here.




 Colonial Rule Workshop

Colonial Rule in Korea Workshop

Organized by Professor Yong-chool Ha, the Workshop on the International Impact of Colonial Rule in Korea was held over November 19‐20, 2010 and featured the work of ten scholars from around the world. Co‐sponsored by the Northeast Asian History Foundation and the Academy of Korean Studies, the workshop was organized into three forums of lively discussion on (1) colonial policies for forging an image of Korea, (2) colonial Korea’s percep8on of foreign societies, and (3) foreign societies’ perception of colonial Korea. The manuscripts presented during the workshop are under revision and will soon be published in a forthcoming edited volume. 

Sochon Foundation's First Endowment in the US

 In 2007 Madame Sochon Park, founder of the Sochon Foundation, visited the University of Washington to establish the foundation's first endowed scholarship in the United States. The Sochon Scholarship is awarded annually to a graduate student in Korea Studies.









Center for Korean Studies