[KS] Tikhonov - new book in English

don kirk kirkdon at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 9 17:37:00 EDT 2010

That topic may be "commercially unpromising" but is hardly "obscure" -- it 
probably says a lot about the evolution of modern Korea, including the rise of 
the chaebol and much else. Sounds fascinating (if a bit heavy going).
Donald Kirk

From: Vladimir Tikhonov <vladimir.tikhonov at ikos.uio.no>
To: Korean Studies Discussion List <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Sent: Mon, August 9, 2010 2:01:07 PM
Subject: [KS] Tikhonov - new book in English

Dear colleagues,

sorry for an improper attempt at self-promotion, but since nobody else is likely 
to do this, I would like to announce the publication of my English monograph on 
Korean Social Darwinism, entitled "Social Darwinism and Nationalism in Korea: 
the Beginnings (1880s-1910s). 'Survival' as an Ideology of Korean Modernity". It 
was printed by Brill - really kind of them, given the enormous difficulties any 
perspective author with such an obscure and commercially unpromising topic would 
encounter in negotiating with publishers in our harsh times - and I will allow 
myself to quote their presentation of the book's content:

"The book deals with the influences Social Darwinism exerted upon Korea’s modern 
ideologies in their formative period - especially nationalism – after its 
introduction to Korea in 1883 and before Korea’s annexation by Japan in 1910. It 
shows that the belief in the “survival of the fittest” as the overarching cosmic 
and social principle constituted the main underpinning for the modernity 
discourses in Korea in the 1890s-1900s. Unlike the dominant ideology of 
traditional Korea, Neo-Confucianism, which was largely promoted by the 
scholar-official elite, Social Darwinism appealed to the modern intellectuals, 
but also to the entrepreneurs, providing the justification for their 
profit-seeking activities as part of the “national survival” project. As an 
ideology of Korea’s nascent capitalism, Social Darwinism in Korea could, 
however, hardly be called a liberal creed: it clearly prioritized “national 
survival” over individual rights and interests." 

While there is already some work done on this topic in South Korean scholarship 
- monographs by ChOn PokhUi (1996) and my good colleague Pak SOngjin (2003), as 
well as my own monograph in Korean (2005) - this new book is the first ever take 
on the subject in English. I feel really sorry for the price (€ 97.00), but that 
is something we authors have little influence upon.

Best greetings,

Vladimir (Pak Noja)

-- Vladimir Tikhonov,
Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages,
Faculty of Humanities,
University of Oslo,
P.b. 1010, Blindern, 0315, Oslo, Norway.
Fax: 47-22854828; Tel: 47-22857118
Personal web page: http://folk.uio.no/vladimit/

Electronic classrooms: East Asian/Korean Society and Politics:
                       East Asian/Korean Religion and Philosophy:

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