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In the context of the establishment of Korean studies, this paper reviews the practices and development of university research institutions that led the way toward production of humanities knowledge in support of the historical and cultural identity of Koreans after the Korean War. Studies on Korea, which had previously been defined within the three different but interrelated regional perspectives, such as Far Eastern, Eastern, or East Asian, gradually came to be independent from these regional study groups with the formation of Korean studies. Along with this move came the decline and loss of regional views, the blooming and subsequent peripheralization of culturalist Korean linguistics which succeeded the tradition of Joseon studies formed in the colonial period. To a large extent, the separation of Korean Studies, driven by university humanities research institutes in the 1960s and 1970s, transformed the terrain and character of discourse on humanities.
It has been sixty years since English-language journals in Korean Studies began to be published in Korea. During this time span, Korean academic circles and journals have undergone various changes, which resulted in the transformation of both the journals and their surrounding environment. With due consideration of these changes, this paper attempts to investigate the significance and agendas of English-language journals in Korean Studies. First, it investigates why Korean intellectuals felt the need to learn English during the modern transitional period by examining the case of Yu Gil-jun. It then examines the initial goals of English-language magazines and journals in Korea. In the early phase, these publications tended to deliver one-way statements, almost sounding like publicity pitches, but they gradually took on the facade of an arena of scholarly discussion and output. The now defunct Pictorial Korea began publication following national liberation to inform the world about Korea by using photographs accompanied by brief texts. Korea Journal, which began publication immediately following the May 16 Coup (1961) for the prospective readership of overseas Koreans as well as foreigners, has transformed itself multiple times over the years and acquired the characteristics of a specialized academic journal. Seoul Journal of Korean Studies, which began publication following the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, initially took the approach of transmitting to the world research outcomes in Korean Studies in Korea. English-language journals published in Korea are expected to play a role in the advancement of Korean scholarship. This is because they can serve as a sphere of symbiosis and debate between Korean Studies inside and outside Korea. It is particularly hoped the journals will contribute to complementing or overcoming the closedness of the disciplinary system of the Korean academy.
This study focuses on the interdisciplinary moves made by the social sciences and historical studies regarding modern and contemporary Korean history. These moves began in earnest from the 1980s to analyze the dynamic development process of Korean studies. The periods analyzed as part of this study were marked by two dramatic transitions in academic trends. The first was that of the 1980s to the mid-1990s, a period in which a huge epistemological transition took place in the nationalism and internal development-based paradigm of historical studies, as well as in the developmentalism and modernization paradigm of social sciences. The second transition took place in the late 1990s, in which cultural approaches to history challenged traditional methods, and new paradigms based on postmodernity, postnationalism, and postcolonialism emerged. This study analyzes the academic activities and journals of two organizations that have continuously played a major role in informing the direction of modern and contemporary Korean history since the 1980s, namely the Korean Social History Association and the Institute for Korean Historical Studies.
This study examines the socioeconomic advancement of Korean immigrants in Cali-fornia from 1905 to 1920. Based on county archives, special collections, oral histories, U.S. government documents, contemporary studies, and newspapers, this study analyzes how the Korean immigrants in California were influenced by the World War I rice boom and made efforts to develop their status in California at the start of the twentieth century. Successful rice cultivation started in California around 1912 and this new agricultural development provided opportunities for Koreans to make the transition from migratory farm laborers to rice farmers. This study presents the unique adjustment pattern of exceptional Korean immigrants who made significant efforts to adjust to Californian society and improve their socioeconomic status; however, in this process, they continued to strongly express their Korean identity and contributed to Korean independence rather than develop an outward loyalty to the United States. Korean immigrants’ successful adjustment to California resulted from their combined efforts to maintain their Korean identity, overcome racial discrimi¬nation that denied them citizenship rights, and promote the upward mobility of ethnic Koreans.
This essay discusses the literary representations of the black Amerasian experience in Korea. It first studies a late-1920s novella that featured the first black-Korean character and foreshadowed the major issues facing black Amerasians in later Korean and Korean American narratives published from the mid-1950s. By putting Korean-language narratives into direct dialogue with their Anglophone counterparts, this transpacific study argues that the texts in Korean and English are complementary to each other and help piece together the diverse aspects of black Amerasian experience in Korea told from the two perspectives, Korean and Korean American. Both Korean and Korean American narratives portray black Amerasians fundamentally as the unfortunate victims of androcentrism, patriarchy, ethnonationalism, militarism, neo-imperialism, and racism. Yet there is a signal difference between the two literatures: whereas Korean narratives focus on black Amerasians’ discrimination and ostracization by Koreans, Korean American narratives highlight white racism in U.S. military facilities and criticize U.S. legal barriers and immigration policy against (black) Amerasians.
For the last several decades, people around the world have become increasingly interested in Korean economy and society. Along with this demand factor, the supply factor, that is, the eagerness of Korean scholars to actively interact with global academia, has encouraged Korean scholars to write more articles about the Korean economy in English. The combination of these two factors has over the last two to three decades resulted in the growth of English-language papers dealing with Korean subjects. However, the increase in English-language papers examining Korean subjects over the last two decades is largely explained by the overall growth of English-language papers in general, while the ratio of Korean-related subjects among those English-language publications has actually declined. More analyses should be made to understand this pattern. However, if we consider policy measures to improve the situation, it is reasonable first to think about how to enhance the availability or quality of data used for research on Korea. Even without allocating more money, the Korean government can attract scholars to study Korean subjects by making existing government data more available to scholars. Since the government is the largest data holder, a more forward-looking approach by the government can attract more scholars to study Korean subjects and to write more papers in English.
Due to an influx of migrants, the multicultural character of South Korean society is gradually deepening. This transformation in the composition of the nation challenges the myth of Korea’s social homogeneity. In this article, we examine the emergence of groups of ethnic and social minorities through the dual factors of globalization and the democratization of Koreans’ conception of nationalism and nationhood. From the late 1980s, new social minorities have emerged in Korean society through democratization and globalization. Globalization brought about an influx of Joseonjok (ethnic Koreans from China), North Korean refugees, foreign spouses, and migrant workers, while democratization has led to the appearance of hwagyo (ethnic Chinese in Korea), gays and lesbians, persons with disabilities, and honhyeorin (mixed-blood people) as social minority groups. These minorities have become members of the Korean nation-state, establishing themselves as new constituents constructing Korean nationhood. We conclude that the dichotomy of inclusion and exclusion of these minorities in Korean society has transformed into a type of hierarchization. We employ the concept of hierarchical nationhood to describe the legal/policy and social dimensions of this hierarchization.
This article is a study of gogae-related back morphemes of Korean toponyms, which are characteristic of geographic typology. In order to investigate the original forms and their development and regional distribution, I analyzed toponyms that appear in representative geography books of each historic period: Old Korean (before tenth century), Middle Korean (tenth to sixteenth century), and Modern Korean (seventeenth century to present). Gogae 고개 and jae 재 are two original forms of back morphemes of the gogae-related toponyms in vernacular Korean. Jiui 知衣appearing in the Samguk sagi jiriji (Geographical Appendix to the Historical Records of the Three Kingdoms), compiled in 1145, can be regarded as the transcription of jae into a Chinese character. Other back morphemes in Sino-Korean characters (hanzi 漢字) include ryeong 嶺, hyeon 峴, jam 岑, jeom 岾, and chi 峙. In Modern Korean, ryeong, hyeon, and chi are the most widely used back morphemes in South Korea, whereas only ryeong is used in North Korea.
Since the late 1990s, Hallyu has grown not only as a global cultural phenomenon but also as a prominent academic subject in international academia. In the context of such an accumulation of research, this article aims to explore the geography of Hallyu studies published in English. We collected 217 academic articles on Hallyu published in international journals from 2000 to 2016 from the Web of Science, extracted data such as author, journal, and keywords from each article, and structured them into the form of knowledge networks. The results show how the field of Hallyu studies is structured, revealing what kind of concepts and theories are employed and how academic agents such as journals and authors are interconnected. In addition, by comparing our findings to another meta-analysis on Hallyu studies in Korean academia, this article discusses what similarities and differences are found between domestic and foreign academia and suggests that two academia have been developed in a close relationship. Our findings will provide critical knowledge on the current status of international Hallyu studies and give insights on its future direction.
In the wake of the March First Independence Movement of 1919, expatriate Koreans in the United States, as part of a global campaign, carried on the peaceful struggle for the liberation of Korea. This essay analyzes the public relations campaign in the United States from March 1919 to February 1922 between Koreans who advocated for national independence and Japanese who defended colonial rule. Koreans presented the colonial regime in Korea as illegitimate and brutal, they cautioned Americans that Japan’s territorial ambitions threatened the balance of power in Asia, and they criticized the colonial regime’s mistreatment of Christians. The Korean media efforts won support from average Americans who joined the League of the Friends of Korea, churches that condemned the persecution of Christians, and congressmen who voiced concern over Japanese aggression in Asia. However, the Japanese state responded with a propaganda effort that maintained Japan had acted legally to colonize Korea, portrayed Koreans as incapable of self-rule, and asserted that Koreans were content with colonial governance. Despite the failure of the March First Movement to secure recognition from the United States, it succeeded in solidifying the identity of Koreans in America and improving American public opinion of Koreans.