[KS] University of Pennsylvania, Korea with Empire Conference April 22nd–23rd, 2016

Sixiang Wang sw2090 at columbia.edu
Wed Dec 9 21:54:28 EST 2015

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of the James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies, I am writing
to inform you of a conference to be held on April 22nd–23rd, 2016.

The conference, "Korean with Empire: Resisting, Contesting, and
Appropriating Transnational Universals," targets early career scholars and
is particularly interested in interdisciplinary conversations on the theme
of the conference. The call for papers is for January 6th.

See http://web.sas.upenn.edu/korea-empire2016/ for more information.


Korea with Empire: Resisting, Contesting, and Appropriating Transnational
Institution: James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies, University of

Organizers: Sixiang Wang (Moon Family Postdoctoral Fellow)
Sponsor: Eugene Y. Park (Korea Foundation Associate Professor)
Date: April 22nd–23rd, 2016
Call for papers, Abstract Deadline: January 6th, 2016

The history of the Korean peninsula has long been intertwined with imperial
powers. These include not only the vast territorial Eurasian empires of the
Tang, Mongols and Manchus and the colonial empire of Japan, but also, in
the twentieth century, the Cold War superpowers of the Soviet Union and the
United States. Interactions with these powers brought Korea to
confrontation with different forms of universalizing ideologies, a dynamic
which shaped and transformed Korean institutions and their historical
development. More recently, international organizations such as the Untied
Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the UNESCO World Heritage Program,
and the International Court of Justice have provided both the institutional
platform and the hegemonic discourses for Korean engagement with the
broader world community.

This conference hopes to investigate the various ways Korean polities and
Korean actors engaged with “empire,” broadly conceived as conceptual,
institutional, and social structures justified by claims to universal
normativity: whether they be represented by Confucian dynasties and
international organizations, or enforced through Cold War orthodoxies. We
are interested less in how “empire” has been imposed by outside powers,
than how Korean actors resisted, contested, but especially, appropriated
“empire” for their own ends. The aim of the conference is to promote
comparative and cross-period discussion across disciplines. For instance,
do Koryŏ or Chosŏn period experiences with “empire” have lasting impacts on
later interactions? How does modern and contemporary Korean international
engagement inform understandings of Korea’s past?

We welcome papers across disciplines in the humanities and social sciences,
but ask that the perspective be at least partly historicist. We especially
encourage graduate students and early career scholars to submit. Due to
limitations of funding and space, only a select number of papers whose
subject matter fit closely the aims of the conference will be accepted.
Possible topics include:
Questions of collaboration or resistance, transitions from imperialism to
internationalism, engagement with hegemonic idea systems such as Buddhism,
Confucianism, and Communism, evolving understandings of Korean identity,
appropriation of international law, use of internationalist discourses such
as cultural heritage, scientific modernity or ecology.

Final Papers will be pre-circulated. Presentations will be in panel form,
20–30 minutes per panelist.

Sixiang Wang (王思翔)
Moon Family Postdoctoral Researcher
James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies
University of Pennsylvania
six.wang at sas.upenn.edu
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