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2023 CKS Newsletter

December 21, 2023

2023 was another momentous year here at the University. Please see below for our annual newsletter reviewing much of the goings-on at the Center.

News Highlights

Leadership Changes at CKS
Professor Yong-Chool Ha became the Director of the Center for Korea Studies in June 2023. Professor Ha took over for longtime Director Clark Sorensen who fully retired this spring. Professor Andrea (Gevurtz) Arai joined the program as our Interim Chair for the 2023-24 academic year. Read more about the changes here.

Clark W. Sorensen Receives the 2023 Korea Foundation Award
Professor Emeritus Clark Sorensen won the 2023 Korea Foundation Award. Clark has been awarded in recognition of his contributions to the promotion of Korean Studies in the United States. Also recognized were his years of leadership as Chair of the Korea Program and as Director of the Center for Korea Studies, as well as his contributions to the Journal of Korean Studies from 2009 to 2014, among other accolades. Read more here.

Asian Languages and Literature Launches Korean MA and PhD
The Department of Asian Languages and Literature (AL&L) initiated new MA and PhD Programs in Asian Languages and Cultures this year. With these new tracks, students in Korea-related studies (literature, film, media, etc.) can now pursue graduate degrees in UW AL&L. Students may apply for these new tracks beginning in this year’s application cycle. Follow this link for details.

Jang Wook Huh Awarded a 2023 ACLS Fellowship
Assistant Professor of American Ethnic Studies Jang Wook Huh was awarded a 2023 ACLS Fellowship. Professor Huh’s award will support the completion of his monograph, “Afro-Korean” Encounters: The Literary Intersections of Black Liberation Struggles in the US and Anticolonial Movements in Korea, 1910-1953. For more on Professor Huh’s award and his book, please visit the link here.

Event Highlights

10th Annual Korean Peninsula Forum
On Friday, October 6, CKS and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Seattle welcomed an esteemed panel of experts to review and interpret the future of US-SK relations, and to decipher Korea’s role between its greatest democratic ally and its largest economic partner. For more on the event, click here.

Sanjo for Violin
To begin Fall quarter, CKS welcomed Dr. Soh-Hyun Park Altino for a premiere of her adaptation of the Kim Ilgu School of Ajaeng Sanjo, Long Sanjo, for violin. Accompanied by changgu master Junho Jeong, the performance was held in the UW School of Music’s Brechemin Auditorium.

Routledge Roundtable
To celebrate the release of the Routledge Companion to Korean Literature (Heekyoung Cho, ed.), Professors Heekyoung Cho (Asian Languages and Literature), Jang Wook Huh (American Ethnic Studies), Ungsan Kim (Asian Languages and Literature), and Korea Studies Librarian Hyokyoung Yi presented their respective research and experiences during a spring roundtable at UW. Presentations included their individual and collective contributions to the creation of the volume.

Spring Colloquium 2023: The Sewol Square
In April 2023, Professor Hyun Ok Park (York University) joined CKS to discuss her forthcoming work, The Sewŏl Square: Sublimation, Hatred, and Singularity. Visit the event webpage for more information.


South Korea’s Modernization in Comparative Perspective
From May 26 to June 1, CKS led a research and conferencing mission to Korea. This trip marked the first conference for Professor Yong-Chool Ha’s Comparative Korean Studies Project. Hosted at Seoul National University’s Asia Center, the conference welcomed project contributors, students, faculty, and staff from around Korea. The second conference is slated for October, 2024.

The Origins of the South Korea Film Renaissance
The Origins of the South Korean Film Renaissance Conference, a UW-Lingnan University joint conference, was held at M+ in Hong Kong on Nov 02-04, 2023. The conference was co-organized by Asian L&L Assistant Professor Ungsan Kim and Lingan University’s Associate Professor Sangjoon Lee. A comprehensive conference dedicated to the South Korean film culture of the 1990s and 2000s, the event invited 33 speakers and chairs, including Asian L&L Professor Chris Hamm, Associate Professor Heekyoung Cho, Assistant Professor Ungsan Kim, and Adjunct Professor Yomi Braester. The 3-day-long conference consisted of 8 paper panels with 23 speakers, a critics’ roundtable, a film screening and discussion, and a keynote by Kim Hong-joon, the director of Korean Film Archive. Visit Lingnan University’s website for more information.

Student Highlights

Hannah Wampler at the “Quiz on Korea” (퀴즈온코리아)
Korea Studies second-year MA student Hannah Wampler was a finalist on KBC World TV’s “Quiz on Korea.” Read Hannah’s report on her experience heres, or watch the Quiz on YouTube.

Scholarships and Awards
Thanks to the generosity of our community partners, the following scholarships were awarded to students this year:

  • Seoul National University Alumni Association Scholarship
    • Eva Chaire, Magic Chen, Brian Park
  • Ewha Women’s University Alumni Association Scholarship
    • Lucie Olson
  • Sochon Foundation Endowed Scholarship in Korea Studies
    • Katie Gonser


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