The ANU Korea Update is the University’s flagship annual conference on Korea. For this year's conference, the ANU Korea Institute is bringing together academics from all over the world and discuss various topics related to Korea.

Conference Participation

  • IN-PERSON ATTENDANCE: We would love for you to join us in person, in the Lotus Theatre, Australian Centre on China in the World Building on the ANU Campus.
  • REGISTRATION: Please register tickets here.(Eventbrite: "2023 Korea Update") If you have any queries, or need assistance to register, please let us know. Email: Korea.institute@anu.edu.au

 

PROGRAM

 

ANU Korea Update 2023: “Remaking South Korea

Friday 22 September, 9:00am - 5:00pm

 

Introductions and Welcome, 9:00 - 9:15am

  • 9:00 Prof. Kyung Moon Hwang (Director, ANU Korea Institute)
  • 9:05 Prof. Maryanne Dever (Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education & Digital, ANU)
  • 9:10 His Excellency Mr Kim Wan-joong (Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Australia)

 

PANEL 1: Keynote, 9:15 - 10:30am

Moderator: Prof. Kyung Moon Hwang

  • 'Popular Sovereignty and the Rule of Law in South Korea' (9:15-10:00am): Chaihark Hahm, Yonsei University School of Law
  • Response and Comment (10:00-10:10am): Elizabeth Lee, Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly
  • Discussion (10:10-10:30am)

10:30-10:45am: Morning Tea

Read more

  • 'Popular Sovereignty and the Rule of Law in South Korea' (Chaihark Hahm, Yonsei University School of Law)

South Korea has achieved the twin goals of economic prosperity and constitutional democracy, a rare feat among nations that (re)gained independence after the Second World War. Its current constitution, adopted in 1987, was the result of the people's struggle for democracy. As such, enforcing the constitution and implementing the rule of law was regarded as a crucial means to facilitate the transition to democracy and to realise popular sovereignty. With the entrenchment of democracy, however, many South Koreans are questioning whether the constitution, which has never been revised since 1987, accurately embodies or represents the will of the people. These debates raise fundamental questions regarding the legitimacy of the judiciary and democracy's relationship with the rule of law.

PANEL 2: Foreign Relations, Security, and Economy, 10:45am-12:45pm

Moderator: Prof. Ruth Barraclough

  • 'North Korea’s Evolving Political Economy: Implications for South Korea and the World' (10:45-11:25am): Peter Ward, Kookmin University
  • 'Growing into Responsibility: South Korea's Emerging Role as a Regional Player in the Indo-Pacific(11:25am-12:05pm): Yoon Jung Choi, Sejong Institute
  • 'South Korea’s Place in the Northern Flank of the US-led Security Network' (12:05pm-12:45pm): Jae Jeok Park, Yonsei University

12:45-1:45pm: Lunch

Read more

  • 'North Korea’s Evolving Political Economy: Implications for South Korea and the World' (Peter Ward, Kookmin University)

Since 2018, North Korea has turned its back on additional reforms, and during Covid, the country has become all but locked out of the international trade system. How has life changed inside the country, and what are the implications for South Korea and the world?

  • 'Growing into Responsibility: South Korea's Emerging Role as a Regional Player in the Indo-Pacific' (Yoon Jung Choi, Sejong Institute)

South Korea aspires to pivotal status in the Indo-Pacific region. It has developed special economic relations with Southeast Asia and India under the New Southern Policy. Correspondingly, it seeks to broaden the area and spectrum of its engagement with more countries in the region. Specifically, South Korea has emphasised building a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific, thereby both alleviating security concerns while simultaneously improving its global standing. 

  • 'South Korea’s Place in the Northern Flank of the US-led Security Network' (Jae Jeok Park, Yonsei University)

Over the past year, the Yoon government in South Korea has pursued foreign policies distinct from the previous Moon government. Among these policies, it has strengthened its alliance relationship with the US, restored soured relations with Japan, and expressed its willingness to contribute more actively to regional security issues. In such a context, this presentation examines the security dynamics in East Asia and the status of South Korea's positional power within the US-led security network.

PANEL 3: Multi-Cultural South Korea, 1:45 – 3:15pm

Moderator: Dr. Eunseon Kim

  • 'Understanding South Korea-Japan Relations through Webtoon Culture' (1:45-2:30pm): Jin-kyung Park, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
  • 'Decentering Multiculturalism: Marriage Migrant Women’s Stories between Vietnam and South Korea' (2:30-3:15pm)Hayeon Lee, Australian National University

3:15-3:30pm: Afternoon Tea

Read more

  • 'Understanding South Korea-Japan Relations through Webtoon Culture' (Jin-kyung Park, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies)

Webtoon (web-based comics) is a neologism coined in 1990s Korea. Although it is a latecomer to the Korean Wave, the webtoon is currently becoming part of global popular culture, typifying the convergence of cultural content and digital technologies. In this presentation, I explore the rise of webtoon culture and show how contemporary webtoon culture in Korea builds on the cultural industrial complex of animation/cartoons, as well as on the “cultural exchange” between South Korea and Japan from the 1970s forward.

  • 'Decentering Multiculturalism: Marriage Migrant Women’s Stories between Vietnam and South Korea' (Hayeon Lee, Australian National University) 

This presentation will highlight the diverse, multifaceted stories of Vietnamese marriage migrant women to South Korea at various phases of their migration process. It will also discuss how their stories resist South Korea's nationalist, patriarchal, and racist discourses that continue to characterise the country's brand of multiculturalism.

PANEL 4: Popular Culture in South Korean Society, 3:30 – 5:00pm

Moderator: Prof. Roald Maliangkay

  • 'Projecting the Future of South Korean Cinema' (3:30-4:15pm): Darcy Paquet, Busan Academy of Film Studies
  • 'Urban Apocalypse and Korean Youth: Unveiling Anxieties in Media' (4:15-4:45pm): Hee-seung Irene Lee, University of Auckland

Closing Remarks

Read more

  • 'Projecting the Future of South Korean Cinema' (Darcy Paquet, Busan Academy of Film Studies)

In the months leading up to the pandemic, South Korean cinema was enjoying unprecedented levels of success, setting box office records and reveling in Parasite’s triumph at the Oscars. However the industry now faces a wide-ranging crisis, as falling attendance and competition from streaming services have called the film industry’s basic economic model into question. This talk will consider various factors that shape filmmaking in South Korea today, and attempt to project what might be in store for this much-lauded industry in the future.

  • 'Urban Apocalypse and Korean Youth: Unveiling Anxieties in Media' (Hee-seung Irene Lee, University of Auckland)

This presentation delves into the apocalyptic scenarios prevalent in contemporary Korean media, with a particular focus on the portrayal of Korean youth amidst chaos and destruction in Seoul. Despite the city's reputation as a vibrant and modern hub, a darker undercurrent of apocalyptic imagination reveals hidden layers of fear and trauma resulting from compressed modernisation and harsh urbanisation. The analysis suggests that select films and OTT series, such as ‘Train to Busan’ (2016) and ‘All of Us Are Dead’ (2022), portray the anxieties and impulses of younger generations who grapple with extreme class polarisation, economic crises, and the looming spectre of climate change. Monsters, zombies, viruses, and natural disasters thus serve as compelling metaphors, offering chilling glimpses into Korea's future.

About the Speakers

Chaihark Hahm
Chaihark Hahm

Chaihark Hahm

Chaihark Hahm, Professor at Yonsei University Law School, studies constitutional theory, comparative constitutional history, theory of rule of law, and Confucian constitutional theory. His many publications include Making We the People: Democratic Constitutional Founding in Postwar Japan and South Korea (Cambridge UP, 2015).

 

Elizabeth Lee
Elizabeth Lee

Elizabeth Lee

Elizabeth Lee is the Leader of the Canberra Liberals, and the Liberal Member for Kurrajong in the ACT Legislative Assembly. Previously, she served as a lawyer and lecturer at the Australian National University and the University of Canberra.

Peter Ward
Peter Ward

Peter Ward

Peter Ward, PhD, is a senior researcher at Kookmin University specialising in North Korean political economy and South Korean migration issues.

 

 

 

Yoon Jung Choi
Yoon Jung Choi

Yoon Jung Choi

Yoon Jung Choi is the Director of the Center for Indo-Pacific Studies at the Sejong Institute. Her principal research fields include inter-regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, with a particular emphasis on countries in South and Southeast Asia and Europe.

 

Jae Jeok Park
Jae Jeok Park

Jae Jeok Park

Jae Jeok Park is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of International Studies, Yonsei University in Seoul. His research interests include alliance politics, US security policy in Indo-Pacific, the US-ROK alliance, and the US-Australia alliance.

jin-kyung.park
jin-kyung.park

Jin-kyung Park

Jin-kyung Park is Professor of Korean Studies in the Graduate School of International & Area Studies at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, South Korea. Prof. Park’s research focuses on postcolonialism, popular culture, and gender in modern and contemporary Korea.

Ha Yeon Lee
Ha Yeon Lee

Hayeon Lee

Hayeon Lee is an anthropologist of Korea and Vietnam, and a social worker. She earned her PhD at the University of Michigan and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the Korea Institute, College of Asia and the Pacific, the Australian National University.   

Darcy Paquet
Darcy Paquet

Darcy Paquet

Darcy Paquet is the founder of koreanfilm.org and the author of New Korean Cinema: Breaking the Waves (2010). A former correspondent for Screen International and Variety, he currently teaches at the Busan Asian Film School, and has translated the subtitles for many Korean films, including ‘Parasite’ and ‘Decision to Leave’.

Hee Seung Irene Lee
Hee Seung Irene Lee

​​​​​​​Hee-seung Irene Lee

Hee-seung Irene Lee is a Korea Foundation Lecturer in Korean Studies at the University of Auckland. A PhD in Media Studies, Irene has been teaching and researching contemporary Korean cinema and media, East Asian popular culture, screen adaptation, film theory, and critical theory.

Conference

Details

Date

Cost

Free

Location

Lotus Theatre, Australian Centre on China in the World Building #188, Fellows Lane, ANU, Acton ACT 2601

Related academic area

Attachments