[KS] International Society for Korean Studies

Edward Shultz shultz at hawaii.edu
Mon Dec 12 01:11:57 EST 2005

An Invitation
         The International Society for Korean Studies (ISKS) was formed in Osaka, Japan in 1990 and over the last fifteen years it has been quietly building a network of scholars in Korean studies. In addition to its headquarters in Osaka, ISKS has branch offices in Seoul, Pyongyang, Beijing, Osaka, and Europe (London).  Although there was once a North American branch, it has become dormant for sometime now. This has led ISKS to start afresh by reorganizing the North American branch to meet the needs of the ISKS members in the U.S. and Canada. 
        As the current president of ISKS, I am calling for an organizational meeting to be held in San Francisco in conjunction with the AAS Annual Meeting in April 2006. We have scheduled an organizational meeting for Saturday evening, April 8th at 7 PM. And I strongly urge those of you who are interested in joining this Society to make every effort to attend this initial meeting. If you are interested but unable to attend the San Francisco meeting, please contact either me at Shultz at hawaii.edu or the home office at info at isks.org. 
Given that there are already a number of associations focused on Korean studies, one might ask why yet another? ISKS has carved out an important niche that warrants recognition.  ISKS is unique among Korean studies organizations in that it is truly international, in fact, global. Our members come from Korea (both South and North), China, Japan, Europe, and North America and with such a broad base of membership, our conferences have been held in geographically diverse areas, for example, Osaka, Beijing, Honolulu, and Shenyang, China. Since its founding, ISKS has stressed enhancing contacts between North and South Korea and has succeeded in providing a venue for dialogue and understanding between scholars of North and South Korea. Most recently in September 2005, thirty-four scholars from Pyongyang led by the President of the DPRK Academy of Social Sciences joined over ninety scholars from South Korea and abroad to participate in the seventh international conference of ISKS. I
SKS held a formal three-day program in Shenyang as well as a two-day tour of ancient Koguryo historical sites. Current plans call for the next international conference to be held in Pyongyang in the summer of 2007. 
	We feel that it is important for North American scholars to have an opportunity to participate in these significant gatherings, and that by forming a new, viable North American branch we can begin to assure greater North American participation. If you have any questions or wish further information, please contact us. Thank you.
						Edward J. Shultz, president	

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