[KS] Call for Papers to a special issue of Scandinavian Studies: Journal of the Scandinavian Society of Korea and to G.O.A.’L.’s Korean Adoption Studies Conference 2018.

tobias.hubinette at bredband.net tobias.hubinette at bredband.net
Thu Apr 20 12:00:50 EDT 2017



Dates: February
2-3, 2018  

Venue: Hankuk University of Foreign Languages, Seoul, South

Organisers: Global Overseas Adoptees' Link (GOA'L) and the
Scandinavian Society of Korea  

Conference languages: English-Korean
and Korean-English (interpretation will be available)  

This special
issue of Scandinavian Studies: Journal of the Scandinavian Society of
Korea focuses on intercountry adoption from South Korea to the West with
an emphasis on Scandinavia. Intercountry adoption has since the Korean
War become an integrated part of the country's child welfare system,
both in practice and in theory. The 167,740 official intercountry
adoptions facilitated between 1958-2015 bear witness to the
unprecedented efficiency of South Korea's adoption program which has
been driven by the conviction that intercountry adoption is a win-win
solution for everyone involved in the practice.  

Intercountry adoption
has been studied by social work scholars, lawyers, sociologists,
anthropologists, Koreanists and many other disciplines over the years.
However, due to cultural and linguistic differences between the sending
country and the receiving countries in the West there is hardly any
dialogue between the researchers and it is even possible to talk about
parallel discourses. The American knowledge production and academic
discourse has long been considered as the leading and most authoritative
one while Korean research is naturally dominated by Korean researchers
who are mainly publishing in Korean. A third academic discourse concerns
the study of intercountry adoption among Scandinavian scholars and which
is usually published in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian and partly also in

Although intercountry adoption is a practice crossing
borders, cultures and languages, locally based adoption researchers as
well as adoption professionals rarely get the opportunity to dialogue
with each other. Because of these limitations, this special issue and
conference invite academic papers from a wide range of topics,
disciplines and languages.  

To further the interaction and dialogue
between Korean adoption scholars and professionals and Western and
Scandinavian adoption research the Scandinavian Society of Korea and
Global Overseas Adoptees' Link (G.O.A.'L.) will host a 2-day conference
in Seoul, South Korea, on February 2-3 2018. 


The theme for this special
issue of _Scandinavian Studies: Journal of the Scandinavian Society of
Korea _is representation. We invite you to submit academic papers about
intercountry adoptees, original families as well as adoptive families.
These contributions may focus on, but is not limited to the historical
representation of these groups in adoption research and popular culture.
We welcome all contributions which seek to add to the knowledge
production on intercountry adoption. 

Length: max. 500 words, excluding
footnotes and references  

Format: APA 

Language: English or Korean


South Korea will host the Winter Olympics in 2018,
officially known as PyeongChang 2018. This is not only a welcomed
opportunity for Korea to manifest its position within the international
community; the event also marks the 30th anniversary of the hosting of
the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympic Games. 

Under the scrutiny of the
international media in 1988, 30 years ago intercountry adoption suddenly
emerged as one of the country's most controversial issues. Indeed, many
came to wonder, how and why a country that was able to host the largest
sporting event in the world, was unable to care for its own children?
The American journalist Matthew Rothschild captured the essence of the
Korean adoption issue by titling his feature article in _The Progressive
_magazine "Babies for sale. South Koreans make them, Americans buy them"

South Korea has during the last three decades ratified the
International Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) (in 1993) and
become a signature to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and
Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (in 2013), the two most
important international conventions regulating intercountry adoption
both on a national and on a global level. And while the number of
intercountry adoptions reached 6,463 in 1988 the number has decreased to
374 in 2015. These numbers reflect a dramatic decrease and yet the
rationale behind intercountry adoption and the perception of those
involved in the practice remains largely unchallenged in Korea.

Historically, adoptive parents have been regarded as the originators
of intercountry adoption, consequently rendering the adoptee's
experiences and in particular the original family's experiences silent.
In the earlier adoption studies, adoptees, their experiences and needs
were principally understood through the eyes of the adoptive parents.
This academic structure has had consequences for the aesthetic, social
and political representation of intercountry adoptees, as well as for
post-adoption services. 

Today, as more adoptees have come of age, an
increasing number of adult adoptees as well as original families seek to
challenge this well-established parent-centric discourse on adoption. In
doing so, their participation can be read as an expression of a desire
to redefine and reposition themselves within the context of intercountry
adoption. Their contributions have brought to light the vast complex
nature of the intercountry adoption experience, highlighting how the
practice is based on often contradicting interests among the involved

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