CKS News: Samsung Gift to UC Berkeley

October 2, 2013

Samsung gift to boost Korean culture, language, and literature at UC Berkeley

BERKELEY — On a campus already well known for its scholarship in Korean culture, language, and literature, a new $3 million gift from Samsung Electronics announced today (October 2, 2013) promises to solidify the University of California, Berkeley, as a global center in this field for years to come.

The gift will allow UC Berkeley to strengthen its teaching and research at the Center for Korean Studies (CKS) and the Institute of East Asian Studies, at a time of rising worldwide interest in everything from the history and politics of Korea to its current cinema and pop music.

"This generous investment in our teaching and research is a game changer for the breadth and depth of the work we undertake in these areas, which has been at an intense level for some time," said John Lie, C.K. Cho Professor of Sociology and chair of the Center for Korean Studies. "This is a significant boost that will benefit not only students and faculty engaged in this work but the entire university community, by elevating our global programming and bringing the vast world of Korean culture, language, and literature to the campus and broader community."

The majority of the funds, $2 million, will create an endowment to support a variety of programs over the long term, including a writer-in-residence program, a Korean literature translation series, an international Korean literature symposia, and programming related to Korean popular culture, cinema, and the Korean Wave, also known as Hallyu.

The balance of the gift would be put to use in the current academic year and through five years to support activities in Korean literature and culture.

The Center for Korean Studies, which will administer the gift, is a unit of the Institute of East Asian Studies and has been one of the nation’s most active academic centers for the study of Korean humanities and social sciences. The goal of the CKS is to use the academic resources of the University of California to promote international cultural, economic, and political understanding.