The Center for Korean Studies sponsors lectures, exhibits, teacher workshops and cultural performances throughout the year. These events are designed to encourage economic, political and cultural understanding of Korea among members of the Binghamton University community and the public.

World language: Initiative to spotlight Korean linguistics on a global stage:

A new three-year grant for more than $200,000 from the South Korean government will help spotlight the language and its impact both in the region and larger world. READ MORE

Center for Korean Studies Public Events 2019-20

Korean Student Center, Old Champlain(OH)-101

Friday, October 25, 3:00 – 5:00 PM, OH-101 (Korean Student Center)

CKS Colloquium Series

Nam-hee Park (Children's Book Writer, International Artist-in-Residence 2019, Arts Council Korea)

“K-StorytELLING with "Baby Ghost whales"

Friday, November 8, 1:00 – 3:00 PM, OH-101 (Korean Student Center)

CKS Invited Speaker Series

Thomas Lancaster (Professor in Political Science, Emory University)

“The Korean Constitutional Court: A Case of Institutional Diffusion?”

Following many years of military dictatorship, the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Korea began operations in 1988 as one of many institutional consequences of the country’s tumultuous years and its transition to its current liberal democracy. Building upon a very robust scholarly literature on the origins of institutions of governance, this on-going research project argues that the creation of Korea’s Constitutional Court benefitted from knowledge of other countries’ experiences in lowering information costs as constitution-makers choose macro-institutions for the new democracy. Key to the argument is that the selection of governing institutions in new democracies don’t begin from scratch—such important collective decisions are not made tabula rasa.  Instead, processes of “institutional diffusion” involve learning from others who have previously made similar choices. Following a brief descriptive overview of Korea’s Constitutional Court, and placing the analysis within such an “institutional diffusion” theoretical framework—with its central concepts of “learning” and “adaptation”—this talk will use the Republic of Korea as a case to illustrate how the country relied on knowledge of the Federal Republic of Germany’s innovative institutional choice in 1949 of a constitutional court, and how this Korean example of institutional diffusion appears remarkably similar to what happened when Spain’s wrote its Constitutional of 1978—which also created a constitutional court—and how it also borrowed from this same “German model.” Taken together, these three cases help illustrate the importance of institutional diffusion, and its component parts of learning and adaptation in the development of democratic political systems. 

Friday, January 31, 5:00 – 7:00 PM, OH-101 (Korean Student Center)

CKS Colloquium Series

Jae Woon Yun (CKS Visiting Scholar, Professor in History Education, Daegu University, Korea)

“Pre-modern (8-11th Century) Trade/Exchange Network between Korea and Japan”

Friday, March 27, 1:00 – 3:00 PM, OH-101 (Korean Student Center)

CKS Invited Speaker Series

Haerin Shin (Professor in English, Vanderbilt University)

“The Optics of Mutant Vectors: Run-away Neoliberalism in Post-IMF Korean Science Fiction Cinema”

Friday, April 24, 5:00 – 7:00 PM, OH-101 (Korean Student Center)

CKS Colloquium Series

Sung-Hee Ru (Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, Binghamton University)

“China’s Incorporation Process into the Capitalist World-Economy, 1780s-1890s”

CKS Co-Sponsored Event 2018-19

November 2, 2018. 2:30 PM, LH-009

North Korea and Trump Diplomacy: Real Progress or Shiny Objects

Hilary Izatt (Binghamton University)

Donald Trump
Since Donald Trump's inauguration, US/DPRK Relations have been ever changing. Following the 2018 Singapore summit, many have argued that the US and North Korea have entered a new phase of diplomacy and cooperation. Have the Trump administration's DPRK policies enabled legitimate results? Or have both leaders used this new era as a political tool to legitimate his own respective power? What would lasting progress in US/DPRK relations look like; and what are the implications for North Korea and the Peninsula as a whole? We will address these and other questions regarding North Korea in the age of Trump diplomacy.

Hilary Izatt is currently a lecturer in the Political Science Department and research associate at Binghamton University's Center on Democratic Performance. She holds graduate degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and Georgetown University's Department of Government. Prior to Georgetown, she spent two years as a research associate at Stanford University's Korean Studies program. While she focuses on broad questions of authoritarianism and democracy, much of her research centers in East Asia, specifically the Korean Peninsula. She lived and worked in South Korea for several years.

Poster Download

CKS Sponsored Event 2018-19

October 29, 2018. 5:15 PM, S1-149

Boundaries of K-pop: EXP EDITION, a Non-Korean K-pop Idol Group

Bora Kim (independent artist and creator of EXP EDITION)

In 2014, a non-Korean K-pop idol group EXP EDITION was born in Bora Kim's Columbia University MFA studio in New York. The group has relocated to Seoul in 2016 and has been working in the K-pop industry to this day. Since its inception, EXP EDITION has received media attention and generated heated online debates around cultural authorship and appropriation in K-pop. In this talk, Kim will share why her team created the group and what are the on-going questions that she wants to raise through EXP EDITION: What are the imagined boundaries of K-pop that exists in the minds of K-pop consumers? How do we confront the self-centric communication and understanding created in the process of the "transnational" circulation of K-pop?

Bora Kim (Korea University, Korea, BA in Sociology; Columbia University, U.S., MFA in Visual Arts) is an interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Seoul, Korea. Her process is based on cultural research revolving around the spectacle and performance of Asian femininity/masculinity, particularly in the context of global media. Kim's work addresses the public gaze and occupies the sphere of popular culture. Kim lives and works in New York and Seoul.

Poster Download

2018-19 CKS Colloquium Series on Korean Studies

September 6, 2018. 5:00 PM, OH-101 (Korean Student Center)

The Next Korean Wave? Mukbang, Cookbang, and the Evolution of Korean TV Show

Joonsoo Kim (Program Director, SBS, South Korea)

Joonsoo Kim (김준수) is a Korean television program director, best known for creating and producing the popular observation-reality shows, Baek Jong-won's Alley Restaurant (백종원의 골목 식당), Baek Jong-won's Food Truck (백종원의 푸드 트럭), and Baek Jong-won's Top 3 Chefs (백종원의 3대 천왕). During his years in SBS, his filmography includes many popular and experimental TV variety shows, such as Global Junior Show (스타 주니어쇼 붕어빵), People Looking for a Laugh (웃음을 찾는 사람들), Star King (놀라운 대회 스타킹), Ecovillage: Merry House (에코 빌리지 즐거운가), and Oh! My Baby (오 마이 베이비). Baek Jong-won's Top 3 Chefs was one of the first TV programs which addresses in earnest "Cookbang" in the three major TV networks, KBS, MBC, and SBS, in Korea. In his trilogy of Baek Jong-won, Mukbang and Cookbang have become major trends in Korean reality-variety TV show. Beyond watching, consuming Mukbang and Cookbang has now turned into a cultural phenomenon not only in Korea but also in global Asia.

Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, Joonsoo graduated from Yonsei University in Communication and now he lives and works in Seoul, Korea.

Poster Download

CKS Sponsored Event 2017-18

April 12, 2018. 4:30 PM, LN-2200

Curative Violence: How to Inhabit the Time Machine with Disability

Eunjung Kim (Assistant Professor, Syracuse University)

Presenting from her recently published book, Kim will examine a direct link between cure and violence that appears in the representations of disability and Cold War imperialism in South Korea. She also explores the notion of "folded time" in which the present disappears through the imperative of cure in the case of Hansen's disease care. While calling attention to the transnational construction of disability under militarism and imperialism, Kim argues that the possibility of life with disability that is free from violence depends on the creation of a space and time where cure is understood as a negotiation rather than a necessity.

Eunjung Kim is assistant professor in the Department of Women's and Gender Studies and Disability Studies Program at Syracuse University.

Poster Download

Event Calendar 

For information on upcoming lectures, symposia, workshops and newsworthy events, see the calendar below.

8:00am - 9:00am