Head, Korean Studies Program
Department of Asian Studies
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Irina (Ira) Lyan
During my PhD studies I participated in more than 30 conferences held in 15 universities in 8 countries and gave more than 20 invited academic and public talks. I understand conferences as academic festivals of knowledge exchange. Most of the year we sit alone in front of our computers trying to “squeeze out” smart ideas. In conferences we can celebrate—share our work, find colleagues, and even co-authors of our future papers. More than participating in conferences, I like to organize them—to host people from around the world on the topic I am most interested in. That is why I brought here the selected list of co-organized events, workshops, and conferences.
The year 2022 marks 60 years of diplomatic relations between South Korea and Jordan, Iran, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. Likewise, North Korea has developed strong political ties and military and economic cooperation with the Middle Eastern countries over the past six decades. In light of this milestone, the conference has provided a complex account of the various historical, economic, and cultural aspects of Korea–Middle East relations, which have been dominated by Cold War politics from the start. While the North Korean-Middle Eastern partnership is largely taken for granted as a “natural” one, despite its ideological divisions, South Korea has promoted diplomatic relations with most countries in the Middle East as part of a wider economic strategy, starting with a “Middle East construction boom” in the 1970s. Both North and South Korea’s relationships with the countries of the Middle East have altered over time in response to their growing global presence and desire for more influence in world affairs.
Transcultural fandom is the place where cultural practices and metaphors diffuse across geographical, ethnic, and linguistic boundaries to share with different fan communities. Transcultural fandom has been Hallyu’s most important focus since Korean popular culture started spreading virally abroad on a massive scale in the mid-2000s.To put it simply, transcultural fandom is one of the major reasons for Hallyu’s rapid acceptance in places outside of Korea. It is currently embraced by communities across the globe, as far as South America, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Hallyu fans usually don’t see themselves as mere consumers of K-pop, Korean TV dramas, or movies, or even as an isolated group of individuals. Actually, they are a part of a wider transcultural network of people sharing similar cultural practices, passions, and preferences.This congress aims to rethink the cultural, economic, and political roles of transcultural fandom within the circulation of popular culture across multiple boundaries.
Many important and valuable rare books, manuscripts and artefacts related to Korea have been acquired by donations throughout the long history of the Bodleian Libraries and the museums of the University of Oxford. However, due to an early lack of specialist knowledge in this area, many of these Korean items were largely neglected. Following on from the publication of the first volume of these forgotten treasures, this book collects together further important and often unique objects. Notable items include the only surviving Korean example of an eighteenth-century world map, hand-drawn, with a set of twelve globe gores on a single sheet; rare Korean coins and charms including excellent examples of the 1423 Chosŏn t’ongbo 朝鲜通寶; official correspondence from the archives of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, shining a light on the history of Christian missions from the opening of Korea in the 1880s until after the Korean
War and many other rare artefacts.
Chung, Minh (2019). Korean Treasures: Rare Books, Manuscripts and Artefacts in the Bodleian Libraries and Museums of Oxford University. Volume 2. Oxford: Bodleian Library Publishing.
There has been great interest in the study of the Korean diaspora in the last two decades, during which we have witnessed scholars' active engagement with the Korean diaspora especially in the fields of anthropology, sociology, ethnography, and art. Drawing on this scholarship, this conference aims to bring together innovative approaches that will deepen our understanding of the historical, cultural, and political experiences of Korean diasporic individuals and communities as reflected in creative works—literature, films, multimedia works, performance art, music, popular culture, etc.—as well as scholarly works that deal with diasporic artists. By closely examining both well-known and lesser-known artworks and artists, the conference is hoping to explore how the living experiences of the Korean diaspora can be articulated through creative means; and what purposes the arts serve for diasporic individuals and communities.
The popularity of Korean films, TV dramas, pop music, and online games has been phenomenal, continuously reaching audience in many parts of the world. It has also gained scholarly attention from researchers beyond Korean studies who approach the content and the phenomenon of Hallyu from multiple perspectives. In response to the growing interest in Hallyu among scholars of popular culture, media studies, gender studies, spectatorship, and visual culture, The Department of East Asian Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and The World Association of Hallyu Studies (WAHS) is hosting the second international conference on Hallyu, focusing on the ways in which Korean popular culture produces a new geopolitical knowledge about Korea and map out social and cultural lives of audience inside and outside Korea.
Visual media plays a significant role in mediating the knowledge of place, space, distance, and scale; and produces meanings of individual and national identity, nationhood, and the worlds imaginary map. The conference, the cultural geography of Hallyu, is an attempt to examine how the mapping of representations and realities of Korea is constructed through Hallyu; how it generates and mediates knowledge about Korean culture and society; and finally how it helps people to imagine their position (both physical and cognitive) in the world vis-a-vis Korea.
The “Miracle” Narrative of the Korean Cultural Industries: Perspectives from the Middle East International Conference May 8-9, 2013 The Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem In the Middle East, as in other parts of the world, the Korean cultural industries have proved extremely efficient in introducing new images of Korea to new audiences. Known as the ‘Korean Wave’, TV dramas, Korean pop music, and Korean cinema has been successful not only commercially, but has also left viewers with an image of Korea as a home of a vibrant culture and artistic innovation. This impression has stimulated interest in Korea and its culture, resulting in a rise in tourism and in the establishment of new Korean studies programs in institutions of higher education. Korea has never been so popular and familiar in the Middle East as it is today. The purpose of this conference is to examine the way Korean popular culture is being appropriated and received in the Middle East, and to examine the social and academic developments it inspires. The conference presentations will attempt to develop an integrative framework to analyze the dynamic relations between cultural industry, cultural consumption, and academic studies through a focus on the experience of the Korean Wave in the Middle East. In a broader sense, looking at the Middle East allows us to examine how Korean culture is being received outside the geographically and culturally-proximate markets of Asia and outside the major economic markets of North America and Europe. The success of the Korean cultural industries in a geographically distant and culturally remote Middle East may exemplify the resilience and ability of cultural industries to go beyond national and regional boundaries, and reach out to audiences of various nationalities and ethnicities.