[KS] Re: Korean Identity in the New Millennium

Michael J. Pettid pettid at aks.ac.kr
Fri Mar 17 23:42:59 EST 2000

Thank you for the interest and abstract.  We will be in touch.

Michael Pettid
Visiting Assistant Professor
The Academy of Korean Studies
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <HKHogarth at aol.com>
To: <korean-studies at mailbase.ac.uk>
Sent: Friday, March 17, 2000 7:30 PM
Subject: Re: Korean Identity in the New Millennium

> Dear Mr. Pettid,
> I wish to participate in the 11th International Conference at the AKS  in 
> June.  Please find below an abstract of my proposed paper.  I am also sending 
> it by post, since the diacritical marks may not show properly.
> Dr. Hyun-key Kim Hogarth
> 17 St. Thomas Hill
> Canterbury
> Kent   CT2 8HW
> U.K.
> Tel/fax:  (01227) 781187       From Korea: +44-1227-781187
> Institutional affiliation:  The Roayl Anthropological Institute
> Title: Folkorization of the Shamanistic Heritage in Contemporary Korea:
> Folklore, National Identity and Korean Shamanism
> Abstract
> This paper discusses the 'folklorization' of the shamanistic heritage in 
> contemporary Korean society.  The ethnographic material that I focus on in 
> this paper is one of the most celebrated festivals in contemporary Korea, 
> commonly known as the Kangnung Tanoje Festival, held annually on the fifth 
> day of the fifth month in the lunar calendar on the east coast of Korea.
> First I will present definitions of 'folklorization' and 'folklore.'   The 
> scholarly study of folklore began in the mid-nineteenth century, although 
> there were precursors such as Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), a 
> German critic and poet.  The English term 'folklore' was coined in 1846 by 
> British antiquarian William John Thomas, who defined it as 'the manners, 
> customs, observances, superstitions, ballad, proverbs, etc., of the olden 
> times' (cited in Bauman 1992). Borne out of the nineteenth century notions of 
> romanticism and nationalism, folklore became a subject of serious study among 
> 'individuals who felt nostalgia for the past and/or the necessity of 
> documenting the existence of national consciousness or identity (Dundes 
> 1980:1).'
> Although the concepts of 'folk' and  'folklore' have undergone great changes 
> in recent years in western academe (Dundes 1980), Thomas's notion prevails in 
> contemporary Korea.  Folklore studies are mainly concerned with preserving 
> the fast disappearing old customs and traditions, etc, and thus closely 
> linked with the Korean national identity and cultural nationalism. The term 
> 'folklorization' invariably has connotations of national identity and 
> nationalism.
> The Kangnung Tanoje Festival is a prime example of how the shamanistic 
> heritage is kept alive and cherished by modern Korean people, despite their 
> great  advancement in science and technology.  It confirms the fact that 
> Korean shamanism is an integral part of Korean culture.  Although its 
> practices may be disappearing, especially in an urban setting, 
> 'folkorization' of the shamanistic heritage, will continue to occur, thus 
> reconfirming its importance in the lives of the Korean people. 
> References
> Akiba, Takashi.  1953/1993.  Choson minsokchi.  Korean translation by Shim,     
>      Usong. Seoul: Tongmunson.
> Babcock, Barbara A (ed). 1978.  The Reversible World: Symbolic Inversion in 
> Art and         Society. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. 
> Bauman, Richard (ed). 1992. Folklore, Cultural Performances, and Popular        
> Entertainnment: A Communications-Centered Handbook.  New York: Oxford       
> University Press.  
> Caillois, Roger.  1979.  Man, Play and Games.  New York: Schocken.
> Dundes, Alan.  1980.  Interpeting Folklore.  Bloomington: Indiana University 
> Press.  
> Hong, Sokmo.  1849?/1989.  Tongguk Seshigi.  Translated into modern Korean 
> with        annotations by Ch'oe Taerim.  Seoul: Hongshin Ch'ulp'ansa.
> Im Tonggwon. 1971.  Han'guk minsokhak non'go (A Study of Korean Folklore).      
>     Seoul: Chimmundang.
> Kim Songwon (ed.)  1987.  Han'guk ui seshi p'ungsok (Seasonal Customs of 
> Korea).         Seoul: Myongmundang.


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