The 6th Biennial Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA) Conference was held at the University of Sydney (July 9-10, 2009). The organizers selected a conference theme of “Global Korea: Old and New” to reflect not only various issues related to the globalization and current development of the “new” Korea, but also to address the demand for academic investigation of how “old” Korea interacted with the rest of the world.
The two keynote addresses were well suited to the conference theme as well. The first address, by Professor Robert Buswell of UCLA, was entitled “Korean Buddhist Journeys to Lands Worldly and Otherworldly,” which provided insight into how old Korea faced up to global and spiritual challenges. The second presentation, by Professor Han Dohyun of the Academy of Korean Studies, was entitled “Visibility and Academic Impact of Korean Studies in the Global Academic Community,” which attracted the keen interest of scholars of contemporary Korea and Korean specialists involved with the globalization of Korean Studies.Diversity of Korea-related Research
As most people are well aware, Korea has been dramatically transformed by modernity in recent decades, while overcoming various challenges related to this process. A majority of the papers presented at the conference dealt with issues related to today’s globalism, as well as topics that delved into the old and the contemporary Korea. Several papers examined the global development of Korea from past perspectives, while others advanced a vision and philosophy for the future, based on Korea’s current situation.
The published proceedings of the five previous conferences KSAA have helped to advance Korean Studies and provide a broad academic foundation for future research. These past proceedings reflect the time, effort, and intellectual rigor of scholars and practitioners who so highly value Korea and Korean studies, along with defining a tangible benchmark for additional academic scholarship. Since the conclusion of the 5th Biennial KSAA Conference, held at the Curtin University of Technology in Perth in 2007, the conference organizers have produced refereed conference papers for the conference proceedings. This kind of diligent effort makes the KSAA Conference even more valuable and relevant to academics and researchers worldwide, since refereed conference papers have an equal standing as the papers published in professional journals.
The proceedings of the 6th KSAA conference have been published in a “Global Korea: Old and New” publication, which includes the two keynote addresses and 46 individual papers, covering more than a dozen disciplinary areas related to Korea, such as anthropology, art history, economics/ business, film studies, gender studies, geomancy, information services, intellectual/conceptual history, language, language education, linguistics, literature, North Korea, religion, and sociology.
At this year’s conference, a total of 56 papers were presented to an audience that was comprised of more than 100 participants. Among these presentations, 32 papers underwent a double-blind peer review process, at the request of the authors. Referee comments were relayed to the writers. The authors of the 20 papers selected for publication then made appropriate revisions and corrections in response to matters identified by the referees. Final versions appear in Section 1: Refereed Papers, while Section 2 contains 26 non-refereed papers.
The Conference Program can be viewed at the KSAA Conference website: http://www.arts.usyd. edu.au/departs/ korean/ksaa/index.shtml. If any readers of this newsletter are interested in obtaining certain papers listed in the program, please contact me, the editor of the proceedings, at duk-soo.park@ usyd.edu.au. I may be able to provide you with the particular papers via email.Passionate Interaction
The success of the KSAA Conference owes much to the financial support and assistance from a number of event sponsors. Of primary importance, generous financial grants and cooperation have been extended by the Korea Foundation, Academy of Korean Studies, Australia-Korea Foundation, Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Sydney, and School of Languages and Cultures of the University of Sydney.
The organizers would like to thank all those who travelled from afar to attend the conference. Among the 59 paper presenters, 27 scholars currently reside in such countries as China, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, Korea, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. In particular, the organizers were delighted with the participation of 11 postgraduate scholars of Korean Studies, from around the world, at the conference, and were pleased to offer them an opportunity to share their research and ideas during this vibrant academic gathering and to interact with so many specialists in such a wide range of disciplines. The organizers are most grateful to all the participants for their active and enthusiastic participation, which makes the KSAA Conference so valuable and influential throughout the region and around the globe.