Title 2023 International Conference on Korean Studies
Date 2024-01-05 Views 741

The Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) co-hosted the 'AKS-KSAA International Conference on Korean Studies' with the Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA) for two days, from Tuesday, December 5 to Wednesday, December 6, 2023, at the Australian National University. Held biennially since 1979, the conference has fostered in-depth scholarly discussions in Korean Studies and stimulated people-to-people exchanges among scholars. For more than 10 years, the conference has been a regular academic event exploring the development of Korean studies in various regions. This year's conference was jointly organized with the KSAA to assess research trends in the Oceania region and engage with the diverse voices of local researchers.


The AKS-KSAA International Conference on Korean Studies took place at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, from Tuesday, December 5, to Wednesday, December 6, featuring over 60 presentations on "Breakthroughs in Korean Studies after the Pandemic." At the opening ceremony, Helen Sullivan, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University, and Kim Wan-joong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Australia, delivered congratulatory speeches. These were followed by a welcome address by Ahn Byung-woo, President of the AKS. In his welcoming remarks, Ahn highlighted the crucial role of the KSAA in expanding and deepening Korean studies. He noted that the varied research to be presented at the conference would significantly contribute to the promotion and planning of overseas Korean studies projects.


The conference featured two keynote speakers: Professor Jisoo M. Kim from George Washington University, USA, delivered a keynote speech on "Internationalization and Diversification of Korean Studies: Prospects and Challenges," and Professor Kyung Moon Hwang from Australian National University gave a keynote speech on "Challenges and Rewards of Korean Historical Studies." The conference featured 17 panels presenting the latest research in Korean history, language, literature, society, culture, politics, economy, anthropology, and art. Speakers from Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, and Mexico participated, drawing nearly 100 attendees.


On Monday, December 4, the day before the conference, the KSAA Graduate Student Workshop, sponsored by the AKS, was held. At the workshop, professors from various universities in the Oceania region delivered lectures on essential topics for graduate students, including academic writing, thesis publication, job search, and self-management. Graduate student participants presented their research topics and methodologies and worked in small groups to review their presentations and receive feedback from the supervising professor. The workshop, attended by more than 15 graduate students from across Australia and New Zealand, was an important step in fostering the next generation of Korean scholars in the Oceania region.


Additionally, Prof. Eun-Jeong Han (Salisbury Univ.), Jung Woo Lee (Univ. of Edinburgh), and Hong Jae Park (Western Sydney Univ.), recipients of the KSA Fellowship shared their recent research as plenary speakers at the conference. The subsequent AKS Fellows Meeting discussed the current state and future direction of Korean studies research and education in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.


Moreover, the conference actively promoted the academy’s overseas Korean studies projects and Korean studies data integration platform by operating project introduction desks for the AKS and the CEFIA (Center for International Affairs). Through this, participants were able to learn about various research and educational opportunities in the field of Korean Studies, as well as information about the integrated search system for Korean Studies materials, which began service at the AKS in April of this year.


The international conference was successfully held, drawing keen interest from Korean studies scholars all over the world. The academic exchanges and meetings with Korean scholars in the Oceania region were significant in identifying the latest research trends in the field of Korean Studies and strengthening international cooperation. The AKS aims to continue organizing international conferences to assess the global status of Korean studies and develop strategies for its expansion.