The 2018 GWIKS Signature Conference took place on May 10, 2018.
Korean Studies has experienced a dramatic growth in academia during the last two decades, and, along with that, there has been some discussion of what exactly Korean studies is. In the United States, seventy-eight tenure-track faculty positions have been endowed and about twenty Institutes or Centers for Korean Studies have been founded. This year alone, a few more endowed positions were announced and these tenure-track jobs were advertised as cross-disciplinary Korean Studies positions, which is relatively uncommon to find in other fields. For instance, there are not many job searches in “Chinese Studies” or “Vietnamese Studies.” Although it is almost impossible to define and may not even be necessary to define “Korean Studies,” we need to be aware of what is expected in the field. What changes have we seen in recent years? Where is the field headed? What roles do specific disciplines play within the field of Korean Studies or Korea-related studies? How can we balance area studies and disciplinary norms when pursuing Korean Studies? How should Institutes or Centers for Korean Studies best contribute to the field? By bringing scholars of different disciplines together, we discussed current issues relevant to Korean Studies and the future directions of the field.
We had three aims in organizing this workshop: 1) to provide an opportunity for scholars in the DC metropolitan area to get together and network across disciplines; 2) to discuss the state of the field of Korean Studies or Korea-related studies; and 3) to organize this workshop for another two to three years to conduct intensive discussions on the topic and possibly be able to produce publishable papers in the future.
Roundtable Discussion Speakers:
Andrew Yeo (Catholic University/Political Science)
Jin Park (American University/Religion)
Young-Key Kim-Renaud (GW/Linguistics)
Stephanie Kim (Georgetown/Education)
George Kallander (Syracuse/History)
Nayoung A. Kwon (Duke/Literature)
Charlotte Horlyck (University of London/Art History)