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The 28th AKSE Conference & Special Lecture on Korean Literature

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The Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea, President: Kim Seong-Kon, propfessor Emeritus at Seoul National University) took part in the 28th AKSE (Association for Korean Studies in Europe) conference in Prague, which took place from April 20 to 23. Held once every two years, the AKSE conference is the largest European event on Korean studies, where European scholars convene to share the results of their research. Approximately 250 scholars took part this year to discuss a wide range of topics including Korean history, culture, and literature.

 

During the conference, LTI Korea hosted two sessions and set up a table for Korean literature in translation to promote Korean literature and the Institute’s activities.

 

 On Friday the 21st, the LTI Korea Library hosted a session entitled “Building a Global Korean Studies Information Network - Sharing information with Korean Studies Libraries around the World”. Professor Vladislava Mazana of Charles University moderated the session, which featured Miree Ku (Librarian of Korean Studies at Duke University), Mikyung Kang (Librarian for the Korean Collection of Harvard-Yenching Library), and Byoung Yoong Kang (Professor of Asia Studies at the University of Ljubljana) as speakers. After the presentations, there was a discussion session with scholars of Korean studies, discussing practical ways of sharing information and potential ways of improving the current system.

 

On the evening of Saturday April 22, LTI Korea hosted a Korean literature session entitled “Representations of Schooling in Korean Literature”. Beginning with an opening address from President Kim Seong-kon, the session featured the presentations “Children Who Can’t Say Can’t” by author Seo Hajin and “Education, the Stairway of the Profane” by cultural critic Kang Yu-jung, both providing an in-depth glimpse into the realities of Korean education. The session was moderated by Professor Miriam Lowensteinová of Charles University, and the presentations were followed by a discussion with Professor Andreas Schirmer of the University of Vienna and a Q&A session. The presentations were based on articles published in the Spring 2017 issue of LTI Korea’s quarterly English-language magazine Korean Literature Now, which also includes author interviews and translation excerpts.

 

During the conference, LTI Korea also had a meeting with the members of the AKSE Council, where the parties agreed to mutual cooperation in creating opportunities for the formation of discourse on modern Korean literature among scholars of Korean studies, and agreed to hold LTI-hosted sessions on Korean writers in future AKSE conferences.

 

After the AKSE conference, LTI Korea hosted a special lecture on Korean literature at the University of Warsaw, situated in Poland’s capital. Boasting a 200-year history, the university is situated in the heart of Warsaw with 120 students in its Korean Studies department. The lecture was given at the university’s request, and was entitled “Odyssey in Korean Literature and Culture”. The hall was packed with students attending to listen to President Kim Seong-kon’s lecture.

 

 After the lectures, President Kim Seong-kon spoke to the Korean ambassador to Poland and the director of the Korean Cultural Center in Poland to discuss Poland’s interest in Korean culture and the accomplishments of Korean literary works published in Korea. LTI Korea will continue to foster interest in Korean literature in Poland through cooperation with the local community and Polish fans of Korean literature.

 

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