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February 2010 CEAS Newsletter


Conference on Korean Music:

    “Redefining Korean Identity in Music: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives”


    On February 26 th and 27 th there were stimulating presentations and discussions held at UW-Madison's Pyle Center on themes related to identities of music in Korea by some of the field's biggest scholars: Byong-Won Lee of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, In-Pyong Chun of Chung Ang University (Korea), Chan E. Park of Ohio State University, Okon Hwang of Eastern Connecticut State University, Nathan Hesselink of University of British Columbia, Eun-Young Jung of University of California-San Diego, Tong Soon Lee of Emory University, and Peggy Choy , Richard Miller , and R. Anderson Sutton of UW-Madison. Choy.jpg
    Topics of discussion encapsulated the complexity of Korean identity in music: how nationalism, government policies, and popularity affect the transmission of “Korean” music, how changes in musical notation and orchestration impact the Koreanness of music. Other issues discussed included gender imbalance in music study and performance, Korean-American experience, and the many forms of musical fusion in Korea.

    To accompany the presentations by our distinguished lecturers there were three mesmerizing performances by Peggy Choy (dance), Chan E. Park (pansori), and student group Ulssu (pungmul).


    This event was funded by a generous grant from the Academy of Korean Studies in Korea, and the Center for East Asian Studies and was organized by Eun-Young Jung (previously of the UW-Madison) and the Center for East Asian Studies.

UW Receives Grant for Korean Studies E-Resources

    The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received a grant of nearly $4,000 from the Korea Foundation to support Korean Studies. The grant, which has been matched by the Center for East Asian Studies, will enable the purchase of two important Korean Studies databases, "Nurimedia" and "E-Korean Studies," which will be accessible through the UW-Madison Library E-Resource Gateway. Grant writer Dianna Xu , the UW-Madison's East Asian Studies Librarian, says "This is timely support because the University of Wisconsin-Madison considers the strengthening of our Korean Studies program to be among our highest priorities. Our vision is to train a new generation of graduates from across all disciplines who combine linguistic and cultural competence with both historical and contemporary knowledge about Korea, students who can contribute to the ever-growing ties between Korea and the United States." Korea Foundation Professor of Korean History Charles Kim , who co-wrote the grant proposal, agrees, observing that "these are essential databases for researchers of Korean history, literature, sociology, and other disciplines. Subscribing to these databases will substantially improve the ability of students and faculty to engage in their research at a very reasonable cost."

    The UW-Madison received this grant because our demonstrated commitment to developing Korean Studies here in Madison has made waves in Korea. In the last four years, we have averaged two grants per year from the Korea Foundation and the Academy of Korean Studies for new faculty lines, library acquisitions, course development, research projects, and conferences, totaling nearly one million dollars. The confidence these funding organizations show in our development program is due in no small part to generous support from the Division of International Studies , the College of Letters and Science , Korean and Korean-American students at the UW, and UW alumni in Korea.

CEAS Student Profile: John Urban

    John Urban

    John Urban is a third year undergraduate majoring in East Asian Studies, International Studies and Chinese. Although currently an avid scholar of Chinese language, culture, and history, John’s interest in China only began as an incoming freshman at SOAR (UW-Madison's Student Orientation, Advising and Registration). While registering for his first classes an advisor suggested he take Mandarin Chinese. Following that advice inadvertently led John to choosing an academic field that has become his passion.

    This semester, John is taking Classical Chinese with Prof. Rania Huntington, Chinese Linguistics with Prof. Hongming Zhang, Globalization: State and International Systems, and China in World Politics with Prof. Edward Friedman. John had trouble picking a favorite among these because he finds them all equally interesting and complementary. He says, “They all tie into each other. In classical Chinese, we study stories of Mencius and Confucius and get a firsthand experience of ancient Chinese thought whereas in the China in World Politics class we examine how the current Chinese government bases its legitimacy on some of these ancient ideals.”

    John will take his Chinese studies to a new level by participating in the Intensive Chinese Language Program in Beijing, China next year. There he will take a variety of classes, all but one of which will be taught in Chinese. Most of these classes will be on written and spoken Chinese, including a class on reading Chinese newspapers. John is most looking forward to his elective English-language class on Chinese government. He believes it will be “interesting to see how this class compares to what I learned at UW-Madison.” Students participating in the Intensive Chinese Language Program have the option of either living in the international dormitories or in a home-stay program with a university professor and his family. John is hoping for the home-stay option and thinks it would be a great opportunity to “interact with somebody you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to interact with and meet kids who can school you in Chinese. There is nothing more humbling than having your pronunciation corrected by a five year old.”

    After graduation, John plans to apply for a Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) internship in Washington, DC. This internship would give John first-hand experience with working with a congressional group on advising congressmen in issues relating to China. Although still uncertain of his long-term plans and goals, John believes they will become clearer to him during his study abroad in China next year.

This newsletter is sent out monthly from the
Center for East Asian Studies
at the UW Madison.
Center for East Asian Studies, International Institute,
333 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive,
Madison, WI 53706-1397 tel:(608)262-3643
You can email us at: email: eas@intl-institute.wisc.edu

To see past newsletters, check our newsletter archive.




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Center for East Asian Studies, International Institute, 333 Ingraham Hall, 1155 Observatory Drive,
Madison, WI 53706-1397 email: eas@eastasia.wisc.edu tel:(608)262-3643 fax:(608)265-2919