CKS meeting at AAS San Diego

The general meeting of the CKS – open to all! – will take place in room Emma A (in the conference venue, Manchester Grand Hyatt) from 9:30 PM onwards on Friday 22 March. Be there! Besides introducing the new CKS committee members, the following items will be on the agenda:

  • report by the chair on CKS activities over the past year
  • the role of CKS at the AAS and beyond
  • useful and necessary updates/improvements to the website
  • CKS operation: elections, division of role, how you can help,…
  • any other item you feel is relevant!
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New CKS board members

This January the elections for new board members were conducted; a big thank you to all who voted (100+)!
We would like to welcome Koen De Ceuster (Leiden), George Kallander (Syracuse), and Youngju Ryu (Michigan). After AAS 2013, they will replace Todd Henry and Sonja Kim.

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Nominations for new CKS board members (2012)

All current members of AAS who have listed Korea as their first area of interest should have received an e-mail asking them to nominate three people to replace outgoing board members. The three people with the most nominations will be contacted and asked if they agree to stand for election. If you haven’t nominated anyone yet, please do so now! If you can no longer find the e-mail with instructions on how to nominate, please send an e-mail to sem_ver[at] We haven’t received many nominations yet, so please take one minute to do so. And please choose someone who has not yet served!

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Minutes for the CKS General Meeting at AAS 2012

The agenda at the Committee on Korean Studies (CKS) General Meeting, which took place at the 2012 AAS in Toronto, consisted of four main items:

  • Report on the past year’s activities
  • Introduction and discussion of the new CKS website/newsletter
  • Discussion on Korean Studies resources (DVD, library)
  • Discussion of the future of the CKS

Continue reading

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Call for Papers – CKS-sponsored panels for San Diego AAS (2013)

Beginning with the AAS in Toronto (2012), the Committee on Korean Studies (CKS) has been sponsoring innovative panels on Korean studies that present the broader Asian studies community with a knowledge that is inter-disciplinary, transnational, comparative, and relevant to the issues of today’s world.  Continuing this tradition, CKS is planning to sponsor one panel at the upcoming AAS in San Diego (2013) which places the history, culture, politics, and/or economy of the Korean peninsula in global perspectives.  We are especially interested in non-traditional formats (i.e., roundtable) that are tightly focused around a pressing issue of debate, innovative methodological approaches, and comparative perspectives. Some possible examples include (1) Representations of the “foreign” in contemporary Korean culture and (2) Discourses on youth and popular culture in neo-liberal South Korea.  We encourage panel applicants to consider these guidelines as they formulate proposals.  All proposals will be vetted through the standard process.  If chosen, CKS will nominate a panel for sponsorship. For further details, please contact CKS chair (2012-13), Todd A. Henry, at

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2012 CKS General Meeting Announcement

The Committee on Korean Studies (CKS) General Meeting at the 2012 AAS Annual Meeting in Toronto will be held on Saturday, March 17, from 8:45 to 10:15 pm in the York Room at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Hope to see you there!

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Introducing the Premiere of CKS-sponsored Panels

Beginning this year, the annual conference of the AAS will feature its first CKS-sponsored panels. Born out of discussions from last year’s CKS membership meeting, the panels seek to highlight current trends in Korean Studies and to make intellectual trends in this field more accessible to scholars in other fields. Envisioned as an interdisciplinary and collaborative forum, this year’s AAS will hold back-to-back to panels to allow for meaningful discussions during a five-hour period.

The CKS-sponsored panels this year will be held in the first two panel session times, and deal with issues surrounding the urban space(s) of Seoul. “Seoul I: Transforming the City: Governmentality, Urban Planning and Social Movements” (panel #21, Thursday, 4–6 pm, organized by Joy Kim of Princeton University) follows the various permutations of the city (Hanyang, Hansǒng, Keijō, and Seoul) in the 20th and 21st century in both real governed and imagined states as the city developed through strategic urban planning. This panel focuses on how the Japanese colonial government, Park Chunghee’s anti-Communist agenda, and contemporary desires to efface the urban poor and commemorate Seoul’s history contended with competing interests (including pedestrians and consumers), and the often times unintended or unpredictable consequences of those strategies. Panelists include Baek Yung Kim of Kwangwoon University, Changmo Ahn of Kyunggi University, Lisa Kim Davis of UCLA, and Joy Kim. Christine Kim of Georgetown University will serve as discussant. Seoul I Panel Information [PDF]

“Seoul II–City Montage in Art, Architecture, and Moving Images” (panel #48, Thursday, 7:30–9:30 pm, organized by Ellie Choi of Cornell University) approaches Seoul as a visual text. Using aesthetic and textual practices, writers, artists, and ordinary residents, it shows how these actors produced alternate visions of the city that challenged the homogenizing articulations of modernity planned under Japanese colonialism and during the Park Chung-hee era. Panelists Se-Mi Oh of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Chunghoon Shin of Binghamton University, and Ellie Choi will trace the multiple expressions of urban subjectivity by reading commercial signage of colonial Seoul, alterity in a colonial city that doubled Tokyo’s metropolitan modernity, and experimental art of the late 1960s. Seo Yongchae of Hanshin University and the editor-in-chief of Munhak tongnae will serve as discussant. Seoul II Panel Information [PDF]

submitted by Todd Henry and Sonja Kim

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Call to Share Memories of the CKS

Dear long-time members of the Committee on Korean Studies (CKS): We need your help in creating an institutional memory for the CKS. Knowledge of the history of the CKS and its many past activities is important for the community building we are seeking. We would very much appreciate it if you would send us a short piece regarding your CKS experiences and memories. We will post the submissions on the Reminiscences page to share with members. We also would like to collect copies of past CKS newsletters. If you have copies to donate, please let a member of the Board know. Thank you very much for your help and support!

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Report on 2011-2012 CKS Activities

The 2011 Committee on Korean Studies (CKS) General Meeting in Honolulu (see “Report from Honolulu”) made it clear that members want the CKS to continue to exist and play a role as an important site for Koreanists for information sharing, intellectual communication, advocacy, and community building. With that mandate, over the years the Executive Board conducted the following business.

  1. Panels: The Board organized two CKS-sponsored panels for the 2012 Toronto meeting (see “Introducing the Premiere of CKS-sponsored Panels”). Credit for the conception and execution of this back-to-back panel idea goes to two board members, Todd Henry and Sonja Kim.
  2. Election: The Board conducted election to replace departing board members, Michael Pettid (chair) and Donald Clark. For the process, see “Report on Executive Board elections.” Through the election Sem Vermeersch and Kelley Jeong joined the Board for three-year terms starting in the 2011–2012 year.
  3. Website: The Board created a new website for the CKS, which doubles as an e-newsletter ( This change was prompted by the University of Hawai’i’s decision in 2011 not to continue its support of the CKS website, newsletter, and election businesses. The Board took this as an opportunity to build an easy-to-manage electronic forum that can solicit more active participation by members. A good domain name ( has been secured and the platform (WordPress) is relatively easy to manage by tech-savvy board members or volunteers.

    Currently, the site mainly functions as an e-newsletter. Depending on what members want, however, it has potential to grow into a robust site, although it is unlikely that we will be able to hire a full-time web master. There is a space (Reminiscences) to share members’ experiences and memories of past CKS activities, and also a page titled Teaching, which can work as a site where members exchange syllabi, multimedia lists, and teaching tips and experiences. All the members of the Executive Board worked very hard on this, and we would like to hear from you about ways to improve on this initial version.

  4. Meetings: CKS chairs participate in NEAC meetings representing the CKS and in November 2011 Todd Henry attended the NEAC meeting and evaluated funding applications on behalf of the chair, Hwasook Nam, who was teaching in Japan at the time. Hwasook Nam will represent the CKS at the March 2012 NEAC meeting in Toronto. The chair also joins the planning meeting of the annual “World Congress of Korean Studies,” organized by the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) together with Korean Studies associations worldwide. This year a new board member Sem Vermeersch attended the planning meeting on behalf of the CKS.

submitted by Hwasook Nam

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Report on Executive Board Elections

In May 2011, the Executive Board of the Committee on Korean Studies (CKS) sent out via e-mail a request for nominations from members to replace two positions on the Board vacated by Michael Pettid and Donald Clark, who served from 2008–2009 to 2010–2011, respectively. The June 25th deadline for the nomination was extended to July 10th, and five candidates who received multiple nominations and expressed willingness to serve on the board were put on an e-ballot. By August 21st 120 members had participated in the election, electing Kelly Jeong (Department of Comparative Literature, UC Riverside) and Sem Vermeersch (Department of Religious Studies, Seoul National University) as new members of the Executive Board.

As of the 2011 AAS meeting in Honolulu, the generous long-term sponsorship of the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Hawai’i, which maintained the CKS Website and handled newsletters and ballots, ended, and the Executive Board decided to use e-balloting through Survey Monkey to conduct both nomination and election for the board. The membership list was culled from the AAS Membership webpage on May 1, which showed a total number of 492 people who selected “Korea” as their primary research field when they signed up for AAS membership.

It is expected that the 2012 board election will be conducted in the spring in a similar way, and this time three new members will be elected to replace Hwasook Nam, Chris Hanscom, and Joy Kim, whose three-year terms expire at the end of the Toronto AAS meeting. Your active participation in the nomination and balloting process will be greatly appreciated.

submitted by Hwasook Nam

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