For a New Approach to Modern Korean History

Thursday, July 11, 2019 -
6:00pm to 8:00pm
Korea University, Asiatic Research Institute, Rm #310
Tour Leader: 
Prof. B.R. Myers

Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch in cooperation with École française d'Extrême-Orient

Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies

For a New Approach to Modern Korean History


Venue:   Grand Conference Room (Room #310), Asiatic Research Institute, Korea University (see detailed directions, below)

Everyone interested in Korean Studies is welcome, please share this information. No registration is needed.

Although the East Bloc archives declassified in the 1990's gave the lie to key "revisionist" assertions about post-colonial Korea, they did little to weaken that school's grip on Korean Studies in the West. Instead of coming to terms with the new evidence, scholars shifted their attention to areas where it could more easily be ignored. In the South, in contrast, a correction set in even before the archival revelations, thereby justifying the title of a retrospective book entitled The revisionism that bowed its head (Jeon Sangin, 2001). But for years now the orthodoxies of the 1980s have been back in the ascendant in South Korea, aided this time by libel and memory laws. The peacetime histories of the two Koreas continue to be regarded in careful isolation from each other, with exceptions made only for undeniable intersections like military clashes and summits. North and South Korean Studies are especially far apart in the West, where the former has been laicized through an endless influx of Pyongyang watchers without Korean skills. In my presentation, as in the book I am now writing, I will make the case for a taboo-free and pan-Korean approach to the political history of the modern peninsula. If we cannot unify North and South Korean studies, let us at least confederate them. Recognition of the political interwovenness of the two Koreas will in turn make for a different approach to developments today. I will also discuss the challenges facing historians at a time when historical discussion plays a particularly divisive role in Korean public life. 

B.R. MYERS is a professor and director of the department of international studies at Dongseo University in Busan. He received his Magister in Slavic Studies at the Ruhr University and his Ph.D. in Korean Studies at the University of Tübingen. He is the author of Han Sorya and North Korean Literature(1994), The Cleanest Race (2010) and North Korea’s Juche Myth (2015).


We hope that many of you can come.

Elisabeth Chabanol
Key-young Son
Brother Anthony

Take Exit 1 from Korea University subway station, turn right onto the footpath leading up onto the campus.
   Walk straight up the road past LG Posco Hall, the Business School and Main Library (all on the right hand side).
   The Asiatic Research Institute is the building next after the Library (Building 39 on the Campus Map)

Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies

The Seoul Colloquium in Korean Studies is jointly organized by the Seoul Center of the ÉFEO and the Royal Asiatic Society, Korea Branch (RASKB). Everyone interested in Korean Studies is welcome, please share this information. No registration is needed. 


Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is normally open as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
                                   10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays & Thursdays: 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please call before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796

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