Monthly Archives: September 2012

“Asia Institute Seminar on ‘Women in Science’ in Seoul”

Asia-Pacific Business and Technology Report

“Asia Institute Seminar on ‘Women in Science’ in Seoul”

Friday, September 28th, 2012

The Asia Institute hosted a seminar bringing together experts from around the world to discuss the critical topic of the role of women in science and technology at the India Education Center in cooperation with the Center for Women in Science, Engineering and Technology on September 26. The participants were science attaches from the embassies of Canada, Japan, Germany, Turkey, the United Kingdom, India and Finland. Read more of this post

“The Crisis in Education in Korea and the World” Asia Institute Seminar with Peter Hershock

“The Crisis in Education in Korea and the World” 

September 15, 2012

Dr. Peter Hershock
Director, Asian Studies Development Program
East-West Center
University of Hawaii, Manoa

Author of

Changing Education: Leadership, Innovation and Development in a Globalizing Asia Pacific

Emanuel Pastreich
The Asia Institute


Peter Hershock:
Some of the problems we face in education are new, but many have a long history and we must consider more comprehensive changes that go beyond individual students and teachers if we want to make any headway. We have to find concrete ways of disentangling ourselves from the past, from assumptions about education that date back to the 16th century.
Emanuel Pastreich:
What exactly changed about education back in the 16th century that was the cause of problems in education today?
Peter Hershock:
How we school people today is for the most part a global system. That system may vary from place to place and its relationship with government, and with parents, also varies. The universal assumption is that education has to do with students moving through a curricula. This idea was framed originally by Peter Read more of this post

“Looking at Free Trade and Korea’s Position in a Globalized World ” Asia Institute Seminar with Mark Kingwell



“Looking at Free Trade and Korea’s Position in a Globalized World ”


Asia Institute Seminar with Mark Kingwell

May 10, 2012



Mark Kingwell


Department of Philosophy

University of Toronto



Emanuel Pastreich:

Free Trade agreements, especially with the United States, seem to raise very strong emotional responses in Korea. Koreans associate them with mad cow disease and undue influence of multinational corporations. And yet, oddly, trade agreements with Europe or India have not resulted in that degree of protest.

It seems many see trade liberalization, specifically the KORUS FTA with the United States, as opening the flood gates for influence by American multinational corporations and the import of unhealthy foodstuff. The import of American goods will put Koreans out of work and result in greater interference of the United States in Korea at the local level.

And yet, when it comes to trade, things are not exactly what many people think they are. Many Korean companies are themselves powerful multinationals and the balance of power between the United States and Korea, is far from obvious.

Koreans run around worrying that Americans will come in and just buy up valuable Korean companies and dominate the nation. But in fact, Korea is likely to invest far more in the United States than the United States could possibly invest in Korea over the next decade. If there is a problem in trade, it cannot be reduced to an America vs. Korea equation.


Mark Kingwell:

Some years ago, Canadians went through a similar debate concerning the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with the United States and Mexico; but there are two significant differences between Canada’s relationship with the United States and Korea’s.  First, Canada is a resource-rich country. Our historical identity is as lumbermen and hewers of wood or drawers of water and will likely continue to determine our future, at least its immediate version, with respect to the rest of the world.   Read more of this post

“The Challenges of Korean Education in Historical Perspective” Asia Institute Seminar with Professor Michael Seth

Asia Institute Seminar

Interview of Michael Seth

 “The Challenges of Korean Education in Historical Perspective”

September 4, 2012




Michael Seth


Department of History

James Madison University

Emanuel Pastreich:

Koreans are quite aware of the problems in Korean education, and yet they are having great trouble coming up with solutions to those problems.  Why is education reform so difficult?

Michael Seth:

KOreans put great emphasis on gaining and maintaining social status. Social status is not a feel-good luxury, but essential for one’s career and one’s livelihood, and that has been the case for   Read more of this post

“The Conditions for Engaging North Korea” Asia Institute Seminar with Jon Huntsman

“The Conditions for Engaging North Korea”

Asia Institute Seminar with Jon Huntsman

Former Governor of Utah & Republican candidate for President

9th April 2012



Jon Huntsman

American politician, businessman, and diplomat

Former United States Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China

Former Governor of Utah

Former Republican candidate for the 2012 Republican Presidential Primary


Emanuel Pastreich


The Asia Institute

(Associate Professor, Kyung Hee University)

Emanuel Pastreich:

I wanted to ask you about the prospects for engagement with North Korea from your perspective as someone who has been intimately involved in the diplomatic debate concerning the future of North Korea. The question is not so much about the latest misdeed of North Korea, but rather about what the long-term prospects are. After all, if we want to solve the problem, we must move beyond the latest news cycle.

Many Koreans are confused because, on one hand there has been times of great efforts to engage with North Korea and these have been generally frustrated, and on the other hand there have been efforts to take a harder line towards North Korea at other times, and these efforts also, although they have been successful in some respects, haven’t resolved the problem either.  The question of what to do about North Korea has become a major issue in Korea today.  What do you think is the long term solution to this problem?

Jon Huntsman:

I am not sure we can find an easy answer when we are working with regime that is willing to put everything on the line in maintaining the status quo, in repressing its people with unprecedented cruelty and in saber rattling that sends tremors through the whole region.  I am one person who feels that nothing is going to happen in the short term with North Korea because we find ourselves in the middle of a transition right now and such political transitions always bring out unpredictable behavior from those in power. Read more of this post

How can you have a democracy if you do not know even who your neighbor is?

There is a lot of discussion about how to enrich and restore democracy, whether in Korea or in the United States. Little of that discussion spends much time considering what exactly “democracy” means. The failure to address the nature of democracy makes us blind to the implications of the systems we employ to pursue “democracy.”

Let me put it this way. If we elect dictators every four years and then have the right to dismiss them if they do not do what we thought they would do, is that a democracy? I would say it is not. We are in effect treating politicians like products, like Tide, which we assume will get out stains. And if Tide does not get the stains out, well we can buy another product. We assume of course that we have other choices in shopping, or in elections, to pick something else. Whether we have alternative products, or just the same products with slightly different packaging, remains a serious question. Read more of this post

“선비정신이 구닥다리? 세계가 탐내는 엘리트 전통이죠” 조선일보


2012년 9월 20일


“선비정신이 구닥다리? 세계가 탐내는 엘리트 전통이죠”

정옥자•페스트라이쉬 교수 안동 군자마을서 토크 콘서트

“요즘 싸이의 ‘강남스타일’이 세계를 휩쓸고 있지요. 하지만 그것만으로는 한국의 대표로 삼기에는 부족해요. 썬비(선비) 정신이야말로 한국의 정체성을 대표하는 키워드가 될 수 있다고 생각해요.”(페스트라이쉬 교수)

“제가 대학생 시절일 때만 해도 선비 하면 구닥다리, 시대착오라고 했어요. 수십년이 지나 이런 선비 행사도 열리고 먼 데서 찾아오는 분들이 있는 걸 보면 격세지감을 느낍니다.”(정옥자 교수)


안동 군자마을 탁청정에서 열린 토크 콘서트에서 정옥자(오른쪽) 교수가“한때‘시대착오’로 여겼던 선비 정신에 대한 관심이 되살아나는 것이 반갑다”고 하자, 페스트라이쉬 교수는“선비야말로 세계를 향해 한국이 내놓을 만한 문화 브랜드가 될 수 있다”고 화답했다. /남강호 기자

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“The Challenges and Opportunities in Korean Education” Asia Institute Seminar with Regina Murphy

Asia Institute Seminar 


Interview with Regina Murphy


“The Challenges and Opportunities in Korean Education”


October 1, 2012


Regina Murphy

Senior Lecturer

Education Department

St. Patrick’s College

Dublin City University

Dublin, Ireland


Emanuel Pastreich

Have you had any experience with Korea in the course of your research and your activities in education?

Regina Murphy

I was at a conference on arts education in Seoul that provided me the opportunity to learn a bit about how Korean education is approached, or at least something about the culture of those involved in education. I remember distinctly the extremely advanced audio-visual equipment that the conference centre employed and overall the Korean conference as one of the most technologically advanced and well-organized conference I have ever attended. Nevertheless, I received the distinct impression that the Koreans were not so interested in music and art education—my field of expertise. Read more of this post

“도시건설에 풍수를 입히자” (매일경제신문)

매일경제신문 글로벌포커스  2012년 9월 17일

이만열 경희대 후마니타스칼리지 교수

“도시건설에 풍수를 입히자”

대도시의 성장은 오늘날 아시아 국가들이 겪는 가장 위태로운 변화 중 하나이다. 한국은 국내에서 지속발전 가능한 생태적 도시를 개발함과 동시에 아시아 지역의 생태도시 개발을 촉진하는 역할을 맡아야 한다. 아시아 여러 나라들이 서울과 같은 도시를 벤치마킹하는 사례가 증가하면서 한국이 큰 영향력을 끼칠 기회가 증가하고 있다. 한국의 도시들을 생태학적으로 더욱 효과적으로 만드는 데 매우 유용한 접근법은 `풍수`의 전통을 도시계획에 응용해 지속발전 가능한 환경을 창출하는 것이다. Read more of this post

The Korean Comic Book Misaeng (“Misaeng” (未生 “The one who has not lived yet”) : War of attrition in the corporate office

Korean comic books (“Manhwa” as opposed to the Japanese “Manga”) have increased their sophistication with incredible speed over the last five years. I do not read comic books as a rule, and my exposure is limited to the educational manhwa my children read at home. But when I saw an article about the new manhwa series “Misaeng” (未生 “The one who has not lived yet”) I had to have a copy. It is a remarkable work of art that deserves to be widely read and analyzed.

Misaeng, the work of Yoon Taeho (윤태호), describes the claustrophobic interpersonal relations between employees of Korean corporations, focusing on the banality of everyday life and the little struggles and tiny victories of survival in a corporate culture. The analogy that dominates the book is between life in modern society and the game of baduk   or “go” as it is known in Japanese. Read more of this post