Korean studies conference to focus on South Korea-China relationship

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- South Korea's relationship with China and the implications of recent diplomatic developments for the two Korean states, China and the United States will be the focus of this year's third annual international conference of Indiana University's Institute for Korean Studies.

The conference, "A Middle Power and the Middle Kingdom in Today's Asia," will take place Oct. 19 in Shreve Auditorium in the Global and International Studies Building at IU Bloomington. It is free and open to the public, and advance registration is not required.

"Caught in the middle of intensified competition between the United States and China over dominance in East Asia, South Korea finds itself back in its historical position as a shrimp between two whales," said Seung-kyung Kim, director of the Institute for Korean Studies.

"This year's summit diplomacy, however, has brought hopes of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and new prospects for its role in the future. This conference brings together scholars and diplomats to discuss the past, present and future of the Korea-China relationship from a variety of perspectives -- political, economic, cultural, social and more."

The program includes academic presentations, a musical performance and a policy discussion. Academic presentations will take place from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Speakers and their topics include:

  • Sixiang Wang, postdoctoral fellow in East Asian languages and cultures at Stanford University: "Wagging the Imperial Dog: Negotiated Autonomy and the Diplomacy of Universal Empire in Early Chosŏn Korea."
  • June Hee Kwon, faculty fellow in East Asian studies at New York University: "Borderland Dreams: Korean Chinese Migrants between Chinese Dream and Korean Dream."
  • Sunhee Koo, senior lecturer in anthropology at the University of Auckland: "Hallyu and Beyond: The Impact and Influence of Hallyu on the Chaoxianzu Community and Its Identity."

Musical performances, including Korean art songs and string quartet music, to be performed from 3:30 to 4 p.m., will be presented by composer Beomseok Yoo, bass-baritone Young Ju Lee, gayageum player Eun Sun Jung, violinist Jieun Yoo, violist Mary Eunkyung Chang and cellist John Yang.

Lee Feinstein, dean of IU's Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies and former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Poland, will moderate the policy discussion from 4 to 5:45 p.m. Panelists will include Jaewoo Choo, professor of Chinese foreign policy at Kyung Hee University in South Korea; Adam Liff, assistant professor of East Asian international relations at IU Bloomington; Mark Minton, professor of practice in the Hamilton Lugar School, former president of the Korea Society in New York and former U.S. ambassador to Mongolia; Jung H. Pak, senior fellow and SK-Korea Foundation Chair in Korean studies at Brookings Institution's Center for East Asia Policy Studies; and John Park, an Asia security analyst and director of Korea projects at the Harvard Kennedy School.

The Institute for Korean Studies in the IU Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies launched in September 2016 through generous support from the Korea Foundation. Two grants from the Korea-based Academy of Korean Studies, including one valued at $1 million, are helping establish IU as a hub for Korean studies in the Southern Midwest region.

Media Contact

Janae Cummings

Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies

Phone: 812-855-4745

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Email: jdcummin@iu.edu

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