The Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies

 

The Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies is the result of the merger in 2006 of the former Institute for Korean Studies and the Kyujanggak Archives. Kyujanggak itself has a history that can be traced back to 1776 when King Chŏngjo transformed Kyujanggak from a repository for the writings of kings into an academic research institute and incubator for young scholars. During his reign it functioned as one of the key political institutions, fostering scholars who would turn into officials loyal to him, and publishing and collecting books useful for his policies. After his demise, Kyujanggak retained only its function as a library and printing office. Following a brief revival under King Kojong, the Japanese abolished all royal institutions and transferred the collections to the Imperial University they had established in Seoul. At the end of the colonial period, all assets of the Imperial University were transferred to the newly established Seoul National University.

As for the Institute for Korean Studies, it had a long tradition as a venue for Korean Studies colloquia, symposia and other academic events on Korean Studies at Seoul National University. The merger with Kyujanggak was intended to further strengthen Korean Studies at Seoul National University, creating a platform that could not only bring together the university’s academic community regardless of their specialization, but also reach out to Korean Studies globally. Thus the valuable research materials held at Kyujanggak could be unlocked and made available for the global academic community; at the same time, by introducing new international perspectives, the Korean tradition and its modern transformations can be seen in a new light.

Practically, the Institute is organized into several sections, such as fundamental research, publications, education and outreach, and internationalization. The section in charge of internationalization, the International Center for Korean Studies, plays a vital role in linking various cultures and academic communities. Through its fellowship programs, it invites more than thirty students and scholars every year to carry out research in Kyujanggak. Through partnerships with various Korean Studies centers around the world, the Center also sends students, researchers and faculty from SNU for short or long term research visits across the globe. Furthermore the Center also organizes various academic events, including an annual symposium on Korean Studies, a “book talk” series in which overseas writers of books are invited to introduce their books to a Korean audience, as well as various other programs. The Center also publishes the Seoul Journal of Korean Studies, a biannual academic journal of Korean Studies.

Sem Vermeersch 
Directeur du Centre International d’Études Coréennes (ICKS) à Kyujanggak
Maître de conférences (부교수) au Département d’Études Religieuses à l’Université Nationale de Séoul 
Pour le Réseau des Études sur la Corée

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