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Edinburgh Conference: Korean Youth – Spaces, Ecologies and Technologies

Date: Monday 19 June - Tuesday 20 June 2023
University of Edinburgh Scottish Centre for Korean Studies | Old College | South Bridge | Edinburgh, EH8 9YL | | [Map]

Tickets: Free | Book via Eventbrite
19 June venues: Playfair Library in Old College [Map], then 50 George Square [Map]
20 June venue: 50 George Square EH8 9JU [Map]
A panorama of Seoul at Blue Hour

Join a wide range of students and scholars for this two-day in-person conference examining the lives and struggles of young people in Korea.

This public conference sees researchers and academics coming together to explore the ways in which the lives of Korean young people have been affected by societal changes. Political upheaval, the climate crisis, revolutions, and increasing social awareness have all had enormous impacts of their lives.

Organised by Korean Studies at the University of Edinburgh as part of our Academy of Korean Studies CORE project, this two-day event will be an opportunity for everyone to explore various fields and disciplines focused on young Koreans and the spaces they inhabit.

About the conference

The 20th century is widely considered to be an era of youth in which the teenager, tweenager and pre-teen were invented. International social changes; changing economies and governments; and industrial business complexes have transformed the landscapes in which these seemingly new categories of young people exist.

While the teenager did not necessarily arrive late in Korea, young people had already been through a series of conflicts, revolutions, colonisations and traumas – surely impacting their experience of youth culture and possibilities.

South Korean youth have been key agents of its democratisation and justice struggles. They are therefore deeply embedded in the processes of contemporary cultural and social formation in their country.

The conference brings together academics, practitioners and others interested in Korean youth and its culture. It provides opportunities to encounter and connect with researchers at a range of career stages, including PhD and graduate students, emerging and post-doctoral scholars, and established academics. The focus is on political, social, economic, environmental and cultural transformations both in Korea and across the globe in the present or near present day.

We intend this conference to be multi- and inter-disciplinary in every way. We want to explore the cutting edges of youth experience in 21st century Korea, navigating spaces and terrains such as:

  • the workplaces and industries of the future
  • landscapes of social and cultural practice
  • social organisation
  • political resistance and struggle
  • environmental and ecological futures
  • terrains of nationalist reconstruction, gender, identity and culture wars

Attendees will be able to present research, share academic interests, and strengthen ties with others. We hope the conference will be an opportunity for everyone to explore various fields and disciplines focused on young Koreans and the spaces they inhabit.


Monday 19th June 2023
10:00 – 11:00 Playfair library, Old College – Opening session
Welcoming remarks and Chair: Dr. Robert Winstanley-Chesters (University of Edinburgh)Opening Remarks:
Prof. Peter Mathieson (Principal of the University of Edinburgh)
H.E. Mr. Yeocheol Yoon (Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland)
Prof. Byung Woo Ahn (President of the Academy of Korean Studies)
Dr. Youngmi Kim (University of Edinburgh and Director of the Scottish Centre for Korean Studies)
11:00 – 12:30 Panel 1
Playfair library, Old College – Plenary sessionProf. Olga Fedorenko (Seoul National University) – Idol Ads in the Seoul Metro: K-pop Fandom, Appropriation of Subway Space, and the Right to the City”
Raphael Rashid (Seoul-based journalist, formerly of SOAS and Korea University in Korean Studies) – “Queer spaces in Seoul and their gentrification”
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Panel 2
Playfair Library, Old College – Editors/Publishers panel

Prof. James Lewis (University of Oxford, European Journal of Korean Studies)

Prof. Natascha Gentz (University of Edinburgh)
Laurence Goodchild (Taylor and Francis)
Rowan Pease (SOAS Publications/China Quarterly)

13:30 – 15:00 Panel 3
Law School reading room (Old College) – Spaces of work and new forms of work

Dr. Peter Matanle (University of Sheffield)

Yoonai Han (LSE) – “How repeated unpredictability shapes inequality: short-term workers in Seoul”
Dr. Jamie Doucette (University of Manchester) – “Busan’s attempt to create a blockchain zone that sort of intersects with youth communities”
Yingjia Dong (University of Edinburgh) – “Young people and esports in South Korea”
Kang Daehoon (EHESS, Paris) ““Jeju migrants” and lifestyle shift among young generation in South Korea”
Seung-tae Park (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies) – “Characteristics of Jeju Island as a Creative Start-up Space for Youth”

15:00 – 15:30 conference moves to 50 George Square
15:30 – 17:30 Panel 4
50 George Square – Project Room – Young Koreans and new cultural forms/products

Prof. Jieun Kiaer (University of Oxford)

Anna Elizabeth Faber (University of Auckland) – “Make them Eat Cake: Childhood Trauma and Loss of Identity Through Abject Consumption in Hansel and Gretel, Antique Bakery, and Silenced”
Dr. Bonnie Tilland (University of Leiden) – “Bring Out the “Passion Crews”: Youth Volunteer Culture at the PyeongChang”
Dr. Stefania Pozzi (University of Leeds) – “The Transcultural Flow’s Characteristics of Familiarity and Hybridity in Japanese Promotion for K-pop: how Japanese fans of K-pop interpret Korean Pop music promotion in Japan”
Dr. Loli Kim (University of Oxford) – “Young Koreans understanding, experience and engagement with texts and intertextuality in their lives and cultural experience”
Brittany Khedun-Burgoine (University of Oxford) – “How do I Make Oppa Sarang Me?”: K-Pop Fandom Lexicon Online”

15:30 – 17:30 Panel 5
50 George Square – Screening Room – British Association of Korean Studies panel

Prof. Charlotte Horlyck (SOAS)

Prof Emeritus. James Grayson (University of Sheffield)
Beth McKillop (SOAS, Victoria and Albert Museum)
Prof. Keith Howard (SOAS, retired)
Aidan Foster-Carter (University of Leeds, retired)

17:30 – 18:30 British Association for Korean Studies AGM – 50 George Square – Screening Room
19:00 – 21:30 Conference Dinner – Shinwari, 46, 52 Lady Lawson St, EH3 9DW
Tuesday 20th June
09:00 – 11:00 Panel 6
50 George Square – Project Room – Constructing Space, Politics and Self

Dr. Jung Woo Lee (University of Edinburgh)

Sugyeong Son (Seoul National University) – “A Significant Wave of ‘Love Yourself Just the Way You Are’ Movement among Young Female Individuals in South Korea”
Niamh Calway (University of Oxford) – “Food as Heritage: Food Spaces as an Embodiment of Heritage Amongst Korean Youths in the United Kingdom”
Nicola Crowe (University of Edinburgh) – “Locating Ablenationalism within South Korea: An Exploration of the Nations’ Socio-Political Discourse Surrounding Autism”
Pauline Brouard (Sorbonne) – “Digital Culture, Recreational Spaces and Ordinary Practices: An Ethnosemiotic Analysis of VRbang in South Korea”
Prof. Jungwon Huh (Seoul National University Asia Center) – “Unpacking the values of Korean Youth: Insights from the 2022 Social Value Survey in Asian Cities
Charlotte Hammond (University of Edinburgh) – “Transgenerational Trauma: Legacy of the Japanese Occupation of Korea 1910-1945 in contemporary South Korean popular culture”

09:30 – 11:00 Panel 7
50 George Square – Screening Room – Climate Change, Crisis, Resistance, Anxieties

Ji-Eun Ahn (University of Edinburgh)

Heesun Hwang (Seoul National University) – “The old future: multispecies kinship and absence of youth in South Korean heritage seed community”
Dr. Yoonjung Kim (University of Tubingen) – “Power of Everyday Emotions – How Young South Korean Animal Video Viewers are Moving Beyond Slacktivism”
Dokyung Joo (Seoul National University) – “From survival of the fittest to the survival of the kindest: seeking solidarity in the age of climate crisis among Korean youths”

11:00 – 11:30 Break
11:30 – 13:00 Panel 8
50 George Square – Screening Room – Special panel “Putting the S into ESG in East Asia: Employment Standards in South Korean Corporations”

Prof. Peter Matanle (University of Sheffield)
Yejin Shin (University of Edinburgh)
Jim McCafferty (Joint-Head of APAC Equity Research, Nomura, Hong Kong)

11:30 – 13:00 Panel 9
50 George Square – Project Room – Multiculturalism and youth

Dr. Seongsook Choi (University of Edinburgh)

Dr. Farrah Sheikh (SOAS/Keimyung University) “Young Korean Muslims and being Muslim in Korea”
Hangeun Kim (Yonsei University) and Narae Park (University of Edinburgh) “Examining Media Attitudes and Discourse towards ‘Multicultural Korean Youth’ in the Korean National Press”
Dr. Nurya Yasar (Hanyang University) “Stereotyping Halal Food and Eating Halal Food in a South Korean Context”

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 16:00 Panel 10
50 George Square – Screening Room – Korean, identity, sex and gender terrains

Dr. Youngmi Kim (University of Edinburgh)

Hye Min Oh (Ewha Womens University) – “The Epistemic Smothering of Korean Youth Feminists in a Time of Feminism Backlash”
Grazia Milano (L’Orientale University of Naples) – “Possible Gender-based Different Behavior Trends among Young South Koreans concerning Family: The Influence of Discourses on Gender Conflict on the Aging of the South”
Dr. Soon-ok Shin (Université de Tunis El Manar) – “Politicised gender hate in South Korea 2022”
Prof. Jong-chol An (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) “Judicialization of Education?: Act on the Prevention of and Countermeasures against Violence in Schools in Korea, 2004 – the Present”

14:00 – 16:00 Panel 11
50 George Square – Project Room – North Korean youth spaces

Dr. Robert Winstanley-Chesters (University of Edinburgh)

Roman Husarski (Jagiellonian University) – “North Korean Young Guards. The Myth of Anti-Imperialist Youth in the DPRK film Boy Partisan (1951)”
Ming Qu (University of Edinburgh) – “Images of Children in North Korean Combat Picture Books (그림책)”
Manon Prud’homme (EHESS, Paris) – “Growing Up with Markets. Are Millennials the New Agents of Change in North Korea?”

1600 – 16:30 Closing remarks – 50 George Square – Project Room

Dr. Youngmi Kim (University of Edinburgh and Director of the Scottish Centre for Korean Studies) and Dr. Robert Winstanley-Chesters (University of Edinburgh)

Wednesday 21st June
10:30-12:00 Post conference cultural excursion – National Museum of Scotland
Guided tour of the National Museum of Scotland’s Korea and Asian collections
Meet at Chancellors Court reception at 10am after breakfast

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