[KS] The 70th Yonsei-KF Korean Studies Forum (IMKS, Yonsei University)

김혁래 hyukrae at yonsei.ac.kr
Tue May 1 01:12:14 EDT 2007

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The Korean Studies Program and the Institute for Modern Korean Studies at the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University are pleased to invite you to attend the 70th Yonsei-KF Korean Studies Forum, which will be held on Tuesday, May 8th at 6:00 PM in Room 702 of New Millennium Hall at Yonsei University. The speaker is Liora Sarfati, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Folklore and and Ethnomusicology, Indiana University. The title of her talk is “Behind Every Successful Korean Shaman There are Several Men: Gender Roles in Contemporary Musok.” The abstract of her paper and a brief bio can be found at the end of this email.  
 The presentation will be followed by a dinner reception. I hope you will come to enjoy the presentation, discussion, and reception. Please contact Jennifer Bresnahan at 010-5441-9204, jennifer.bresnahan at gmail.com for further inquiries.  
Hyuk-Rae Kim
Professor of Korean StudiesDirector, Institute for Modern Korean Studies
GSIS, Yonsei University 

            Korean folk religions have often been titled “dualistic in nature” as scholars have tended to see a divide between female practices, mainly shamanism and consulting diviners, and male practices, mainly Confucian rites and geomancy.  This paper discusses the roles of men in contemporary musok (Korean shamanism).  Lately, traditional roles of men have been augmented by functions that are related to new technologies, nationalism, civil society, and academic establishments.  In this process, men, who have always taken part in musok as musicians, butchers and occasionally as shamans now promote musok through scholarly research, official designation as national assets, support associations, and new media production, advertising and documentation.  This new situation in religious practice is coherent with gender differences in South Korea’s society, where men are a significant majority among scholars, government officials, photographers, website designers etc.   


Biography: Born and raised in Israel, Liora Sarfati is now a Ph.D. candidate at


University , Bloomington in the U.S.  She is now conducting fieldwork in Seoul, sponsored by the Korea Foundation, working toward a double major in Folklore and in East Asian Languages and Cultures.  Her academic interests include popular religions, material culture, and cultural processes related to modernity, nationalism, and urbanization.  

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