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00707012
2012.11
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Academic and Social Networking of Koreanists in Europe/9th Korean Studies Graduate Students Convention in Warsaw /The Korean Studies Graduate Students Convention in Europe (KSGSC) has been held annually since 2004, with assistance from the Korea Foundation, to provide graduate students of Korea-related fields in the European region with an opportunity to present their ongoing research projects and build peer networks.  The association was created under the auspices of the Association for Korean Studies in Europe.

This year, the KSGSC This year’s convention took place from September 18-20 in one of the conference rooms of at the University of Warsaw Library. The gathering was Library, hosted by the Korean Studies Section Department of the university’s Faculty of Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw. Thirty two A total of 32 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers from over twenty 20 universities, located mostly in Europe but also in some in the Republic of Korea and the U.S. United States as well, presented their papers made presentations on a variety of issues subjects related to Korean Studies.

The convention is considered to be a very important academic event by the authorities of the The University of Warsaw regarded the convention as a very important academic event, especially since because this year marks the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the university’s Faculty of Oriental Studies. The opening ceremony of the KSGSC in Warsaw was attended by the Vice-Rector for Research and Liaison, Professor Alojzy Z. Nowak, vice rector for research and liaison, and the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Professor Piotr Taracha, vice dean of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, who gave congratulatory remarks to the participants at the opening ceremony. Moreover, Professor Romuald Huszcza gave a warm welcome, made welcoming remarks on the behalf of the Korean Studies Section Department, and presented a brief history of the Korean Studies program at our the university.


Korean Studies at the University of Warsaw

KSGSC IN EUROPEThe University of Warsaw has offered opened Korean language classes since in 1953, as the very first university for the first time in Poland to do so. At first, Korean was taught as a second oriental Oriental language to the students majoring in Chinese and Japanese Studies. These Among these students included was Dr. Halina Ogarek-Czoj who later graduated from the University of Kim Il Sung University in Pyǒngyang Pyongyang in 1962, specializing in Korean theatre majoring in Korean theater. She also became the founder of the university’s independent played a key role in founding the Korean Studies Section Department at the University of Warsaw in 1983.

Due to the political situation of in Poland at that time, Korean language was originally taught by North Korean instructors from North Korea, who worked at our university until 1993, while the early with most academic materials on Korea were of North Korean origin originating from North Korea. Thanks to cooperative efforts with the Association for Korean Studies in Europe and various personal contacts of the faculty members, it later became possible to acquire South Korean publications, so that students could learn about Korea from different national perspectives.

This eventually resulted in a transition to South Korean standards, thanks to the regular dispatch of South Korean professors to Poland from 1990 to 2008, with which was possible through the South Korean government’s support from 1990 to 2008. Additionally, various organizations, like including the Korea Foundation in particular, have steadily donated books and other related materials, such that the number of publications stored in the Library’s Korean Studies Section has been growing rapidly, reaching over eight thousand volumes so the university library’s Korean Studies section houses more than 8,000 books today. Such a library is an indispensable resource This is a valuable collection of resources for proper research, and it also helps helping students to pursue their interests and expand their knowledge of Korea in the fields of many fields including history, literature, culture, history, and linguistics.

We can proudly say that Korean Studies has become one of the most popular areas of study areas within the Faculty of Oriental Studies at our university, atracting a considerable number of students. Next year, the The Korean Studies Section will celebrate the Department, celebrating its 30th anniversary of its establishment next year, is attracting a growing number of students.


Academic and Cultural Exchange

The KSGSC in Warsaw should be considered convention may be evaluated as a very successful event as far as promoting in terms of academic exchange and social interaction is concerned among participants. The Under the initiative of Korean Studies professors of the Korean Studies Section of at the University of Warsaw as well as and members of the KSGSC Organizing Committee, conducted ten academic a total of 10 sessions were conducted on subjects including Korean linguistics, literature, society, historical narratives, modern and pre-modern contemporary history, politics, culture, and the arts. Also, with two sessions were devoted to the issues related to North Korea-related issues. All the presentations were informative, and represented a very high level of academic research exhibiting considerable academic expertise.

The audience was mainly comprised of the convention participants but also included the Korea-related undergraduate and graduate students of the University of Warsaw. We were also extremely pleased to host the visit of Director Choi Jaejin, Director of the Korea Foundation Berlin Office in Berlin, who also participated in the convention proceedings. Moreover, various Some sessions were attended by various attracted Korea- enthusiasts living in Poland, who also contributed to the general flow of the gathering their lively proceedings. All the sessions evoked thoughtful questions and comments, leading to extensive discussion, which were often continued discussions, some continuing over dinner.

9th Korean Studies Graduate Students Convention in WarsawOn the second day, the participants had an opportunity to take part in an additional enjoyed a cultural program that which featured the performance of an artistic group “Polski Lan,” a local performing arts group which not only presented presenting traditional Polish dance and music but also organized a round of competition, for group interaction. Female participants competed in stringing coral beads while male participants had a chance to show off their whip-cracking ability. The performance was followed by group competition among the participants, women in coral bead stringing and men in whip cracking, which offered an amusing interlude for cross-cultural awareness and goodwill. The performance was meant to stimulate cross-cultural awarness but it also became a meaningful interlude to the academic session on Korean culture and arts, which took place on the final day.

The convention proceeded in overall a congenial and pleasant atmosphere was congenial and pleasant, with all participants seeming to be extremely satisfied with both the smoothness of the organization and the high-quality of the paper presentations. All in all, the 9th ninth Korean Studies Graduate Students Convention in Warsaw undoubtedly remarkably contributed to a the strengthening of the social and academic relations between the participants and further advancement of Korean Studies in Europe.

Justyna Najbar-Miller,Ph.D. Candidate,
University of Warsaw

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