Présentation de Se-Woong Koo, Post-doctorant Korea Foundation au Centre de Recherches sur la Corée

Se-Woong Koo, Post-doctorant de la Korea Foundation au Centre de Recherches sur la Corée nous présente ses recherches en cours :

 

Several topics have recently attracted the attention of Koreanists, emerging from developments within the larger fields of humanities and social science, and inspired by the rapidly changing landscape of Korea. Among these key concerns, I am interested in modern religion as a new concept that effected changes within Korean society, and in the development of urban space in Seoul. Modern religion demands closer examination as a category of knowledge with a profound influence on governance, law, medicine and disciplinary boundaries of academy. Urban space, a topic with broad implications for modern and contemporary life, overlaps with pre-existing academic research into popular culture, national identity, and politics.

I received my PhD from Stanford University’s Department of Religious Studies with a focus on Korea, “Making Belief: Religion and the State in Korea, 1392-1960” (2011). For my doctoral project I was interested in exploring the various ways through which modern Korean identity emerged, but primarily the role of religion in this process. I am revising my dissertation for publication until my sojourn in Paris ends in summer 2013. I am finishing a piece on the history of cannibalism in Korea, and will publish an article on the early Chosǒn state religion. The latter piece discusses the complexity of state religious policy in the early part of the Chosŏn dynasty, examining the formation of the official ritual canon in a dynasty self-identified as orthodox as well as non-Chinese. In writing this I want to understand how those two self-ascribed characteristics both served and opposed each other, requiring the ruling house and officialdom to recast the state’s political legitimacy on new terms. My interest mainly concerns those practices periodically vilified as heterodox by the ruling elite but still accepted into the early ceremonial manuals: Taoism, celestial sacrifice, and astrology.

I am gradually moving onto more contemporary topics, and the one that takes up most of my time nowadays is the Korean preoccupation with luxury goods (an apt subject for a fellow stationed in the fashion capital of world, or so I would like to think). While I am attempting to historicize the ongoing relationship between Koreans and objects of their consumptive desire, I am determined to situate the current obsession with foreign sartorial brands within broader contexts of contemporary commercialism, consumption, and reconfiguration of Korean national identity. This effort takes advantage of certain insights generated by scholars specializing in colonial urbanism and consumer culture, and I benefit greatly from my proximity to Korea specialists at EHESS.

 

Se-Woong Koo

 

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Se-Woong Koo donnera une conférence au Centre de Recherches sur la Corée

le 22 février 2013 de 14h à 16h

“Dressing the Korean Body: Luxury, Fantasy, and Nation Reconsidered”

Maison de l’Asie, 22 avenue du Président Wilson 75116


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