News and Announcements

Fall 2018 Colloquia

View the Fall 2018 colloquia schedule here. (Schedule posted December 6, 2018.)

Spring 2018 Colloquia

View the Spring 2018 colloquia schedule here. (Schedule posted December 6, 2018.)

Hong Yung Lee (1939-2017)

The Center for Korean Studies community was saddened to learn of the death on October 24th of Professor Hong Yung Lee. Professor Lee was on the UC Berkeley faculty for nearly thirty years, and among his many responsibilities and accomplishments, he served as the CKS Chair for ten years. A celebration of Hong Yung Lee's life and career will be held on January 21, 2018, at UC Berkeley. Professor John Lie, also a previous CKS Chair and Hong Yung Lee's colleague for many years, offered the following brief summary of his life and work here.

Posted October 27, 2017

Fall 2017 Colloquia

View the Fall 2017 colloquia schedule here. (Schedule posted August 16, 2017.)

Jinsoo An

Congratulations to Professor Jinsoo An for joining the tenured ranks of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures!

Posted July 7, 2017

Clare You

Professor Clare You of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (retired) and former Chair of CKS was awarded the Manhae Grand Prize for 2017 from the Manhae Foundation in South Korea. Congratulations, Professor You!

Posted May 28, 2017

Laura Nelson

BERKELEY — Professor Laura C. Nelson has been appointed to the Editorial Board of Korea Journal for a two-year term beginning in 2017. Congratulations, Professor Nelson!

Posted May 12, 2017

Youngmin Kwon

BERKELEY — Professor Youngmin Kwon of the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures was awarded the Sejong Cultural Award for 2017 by the South Korean government. Congratulations, Professor Kwon!

Posted April 21, 2017

New Gift from C. K. Cho

BERKELEY — C. K. Cho, the former CEO of Korean Airlines and a long-time supporter of CKS, has committed to give CKS 200k, which will be rolled into a $1 million endowment he established some years ago. This gift is unencumbered and the income from it will be available for CKS operations and the full range of the Center’s activities. 50k has already arrived and the remaining 150k will appear over the next three years. Congratulation to Laura Nelson and Stephanie Kim for their hard work in securing the gift.

Posted April 7, 2017

The Changing Role of the Korean State

Hong Yung Lee and Sunil Kim book cover

The Changing Role of the Korean State: In the Post Developmental Era

Hong Yung Lee, ed.
Sunil Kim, ed.

2016, 158 pages.
ISBN 978-3-8325-4332-7
price: 32.00 EUR / e-book 30.50 EUR

How and why has the Korean state changed its way of handling the society and its markets over the past two decades? The Changing Role of the Korean State finds that the explosion of contentious civil society after democratization coeval with the outbreak of the financial crisis following rapid economic growth, are closely associated with the decline of developmentalism. Despite these profound changes, however, the Korean state has not totally relinquished its control over the society and the market. Rather, although its methods have been altered it remains to be highly interventionalist and regulatory in nature. The state continues to use its influence to restructure the socio-economic system and rationally manage spatial arrangements. The book amply demonstrates the residual legacy of the developmental state in Korea, and it is unlikely that Korea will ever accept the western liberalist concept of a state which limits its function to that of a referee for the spontaneous operation of the civil society and the market.

The contributors of this edited volume delineate the shifting role of the Korean state from the developmental state, which led economic development by guiding investment in strategic industries through various means, to a slightly subtler role as a regulator, supervising the operation of the market in the changing economic environment. Individual chapters presented here address this changing but nonetheless vital role that the state plays in managing the variety of modern socio-economic life in South Korea.


Spring 2017 Colloquia

View the spring 2017 colloquia schedule here. (Schedule posted January 18, 2017.)

Fall 2016 Colloquia

View the fall 2016 colloquia schedule here. (Schedule posted August 22, 2016.)

Spring 2016 Colloquia

View the spring 2016 colloquia schedule here. (Schedule posted January 26, 2016.)

The Ethnic Avant-Garde

Steven Lee book cover

The Ethnic Avant-Garde: Minority Cultures and World Revolution

Steven S. Lee

ISBN: 9780231173520 — 204 Pages 18 b&w photographs
FORMAT: Hardcover
LIST PRICE: $60.00 / £41.50

During the 1920s and 1930s, American minority artists and writers collaborated extensively with the Soviet avant-garde, seeking to build a revolutionary society that would end racial discrimination and advance progressive art. Making what Claude McKay called "the magic pilgrimage" to the Soviet Union, these intellectuals placed themselves at the forefront of modernism, using radical cultural and political experiments to reimagine identity and decenter the West.

Shining rare light on these efforts, The Ethnic Avant-Garde makes a unique contribution to interwar literary, political, and art history, drawing extensively on Russian archives, travel narratives, and artistic exchanges to establish the parameters of an undervalued "ethnic avant-garde." These writers and artists cohered around distinct forms that mirrored Soviet techniques of montage, fragment, and interruption. They orbited interwar Moscow, where the international avant-garde converged with the Communist International.

The book explores Vladimir Mayakovsky's 1925 visit to New York City via Cuba and Mexico, during which he wrote Russian-language poetry in an "Afro-Cuban" voice; Langston Hughes's translations of these poems while in Moscow, which he visited to assist on a Soviet film about African American life; a futurist play condemning Western imperialism in China, which became Broadway's first major production to feature a predominantly Asian American cast; and efforts to imagine the Bolshevik Revolution as Jewish messianic arrest, followed by the slow political disenchantment of the New York Intellectuals. Through an absorbing collage of cross-ethnic encounters that also include Herbert Biberman, Sergei Eisenstein, Paul Robeson, and Vladimir Tatlin, this work remaps global modernism along minority and Soviet-centered lines, further advancing the avant-garde project of seeing the world anew.


Fall 2015 Colloquia

View the fall 2015 colloquia schedule here. (Updated schedule posted August 25, 2015.)

Latest Publication

Multiethnic Korea?

Multiethnic Korea? Multiculturalism, Migration, and Peoplehood Diversity in Contemporary South Korea
John Lie, ed.
Transnational Korea 1
IEAS Publications
2014. 344 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-1-55729-110-3
ISBN-10: 1-55729-110-1

The Center for Korean Studies is pleased to announce the publication of the first title in the "Transnational Korea" series: Multiethnic Korea? Multiculturalism, Migration, and Peoplehood Diversity in Contemporary South Korea edited by John Lie. This is the first English-language book of its kind to address multiculturalism in South Korea. Part 1 presents macroscopic and ethnographic looks at South Korean multiculturalism. Part 2 turns to migrants and others in contemporary South Korea, including North Korean refugees, migrant workers, and Korean adoptees from overseas. Part 3 analyzes groups leading multicultural or multiethnic lives in contemporary South Korea, including biracial children, recent migrants from Africa, and Filipina wives in rural households.

CKS to Welcome new Program Director: Dr. Stephanie K. Kim

The Center for Korean Studies is pleased to announce the selection of our new Program Director, Dr. Stephanie K. Kim. Stephanie received her Ph.D. in Education from UCLA, with a dissertation focused on efforts to globalize higher education in South Korea. She also holds an MA in Global Affairs from NYU, and a BA in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan. Stephanie has extensive experience with academic programming and event coordination, and will be able to bring her scholarly expertise to the work of managing the activities of CKS. She comes to us directly from a position as a Korea Foundation Post-Doctoral researcher here at UC Berkeley. Stephanie will take over the responsibilities of outgoing Program Director Dylan Davis, who leaves later this month to accept his new position as the Country Representative of the Asia Foundation in Korea. Much as we are sad to see Dylan leave us, we are also very grateful to have had a highly qualified pool of applicants for this position, and we are looking forward to Stephanie's term as CKS Program Director.

Thanks, also, go to the members of the search committee, particularly Marty Backstrom, and to the CKS staff — Dianne-Enpa Cho, Yunhee Roh, and Associate Director Clare You for their hard work during this transition!

Spring 2015 Colloquia

View the spring 2015 colloquia schedule here. (Updated schedule posted January 20, 2015.)

Previous Colloquia Schedules

Dylan Davis, Recipient of a Fellowship to the U.S.-Korea Scholar-Policymaker Nexus

Dylan Davis, program director of the Center for Korean Studies, was awarded a fellowship to the U.S.-Korea Scholar-Policymaker Nexus, a Mansfield Foundation/Korea Foundation fellowship program for Korea specialists making long-term contributions to the U.S.-Korea relationship.

Read more ...

Samsung Gift to UC Berkeley

Read about a new $3 million gift to UC Berkeley here.

Recent Publications

K-Pop: Popular Music, Cultural Amnesia, and Economic Innovation in South Korea

K-Pop: Popular Music, Cultural Amnesia, and Economic Innovation in South Korea
John Lie
UC Press
2014. 248 pp.
ISBN 9780520283121

K-Pop: Popular Music, Cultural Amnesia, and Economic Innovation in South Korea seeks at once to describe and explain the emergence of export-oriented South Korean popular music and to make sense of larger South Korean economic and cultural transformations. John Lie provides not only a history of South Korean popular music — the premodern background, Japanese colonial influence, post-Liberation American impact, and recent globalization — but also a description of K-pop as a system of economic innovation and cultural production. In doing so, he delves into the broader background of South Korea in this wonderfully informed history and analysis of a pop culture phenomenon sweeping the globe.

Read more ...


Mobile Subjects: Boundaries and Identities in the Modern Korean Diaspora

Mobile Subjects: Boundaries and Identities in the Modern Korean Diaspora
Yeh, Wen-hsin, ed.
Korea Research Monograph 36
2013. 231 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-1-55729-104-2
ISBN-10: 1-55729-104-7

Mobile Subjects draws attention to modern Korean experiences with mobility, experiences that played an important role in forming Korean constructions of an ethnonationalistic discourse of territoriality. Much has already been written to shed light on the latter. Not nearly as much has been done to examine Korean mobility, especially in connection with the formation of Korean subjectivity from the nonpeninsular perspectives of movement and mobility. By drawing attention to mobility in subjectivity — to the contested nature of subjectivity in the processes of mobility — this volume seeks to connect the experiences of the Korean diaspora with those of the homeland, thereby enriching an understanding of Korean nationalism from its flip side.

Read more ...


In the Service of His Korean Majesty: William Nelson Lovatt, the Pusan Customs, and Sino-Korean Relations, 1876–1888

In the Service of His Korean Majesty: William Nelson Lovatt, the Pusan Customs,
and Sino-Korean Relations, 1876–1888

Patterson, Wayne
Korea Research Monograph 35
2012. 209 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-1-55729-100-4
ISBN-10: 1-55729-100-4

"This book is a useful corrective to the usual focus on Seoul in studies of early modern Korea. Using newly discovered data, Patterson shows us what life was like in Pusan at that time. He also sheds new light on what China was trying to accomplish in Korea in the 1880s."
      –Don Baker, University of British Columbia

"Wayne Patterson has written an illuminating account of one of the earliest cases of a sustained interaction between Koreans and Westerners. His portrayal of William Nelson Lovatt's time in Pusan will be of interest to students and scholars of Chosŏn Korea's foreign relations—political, commercial, and cultural."
      –Kirk W. Larsen, Brigham Young University

For more information about this book, please visit http://ieas.berkeley.edu/publications/krm35.html.

For information about ordering this book, please visit http://ieas.berkeley.edu/publications/ordering.html

Click here for information about other books published by the Institute of East Asian Studies and the Center for Korean Studies.