Foundation and Networks of Korean Studies in the 1960s~1970s: Focusing the Activities of the Council on Exchange with Asian Institutions (CEAI), the Asiatic Research Center (ARC), and the Joint Committee on Korean Studies (JCKS)
Journal of Humanities, Seoul National University
DOI : 10.17326/jhsnu.77.3.202008.59
Institute of Humanities, Seoul National University
Research Area :
This paper analyzed the formation of Korean studies in the 1960s and 1970s, focusing on the relationship and activities of the Asiatic Research Center (ARC, the Korea University), the Council on Exchange with Asian Institutions (CEAI), and the Joint Committee on Korean Studies (JCKS).
CEAI and JCKS belonged to the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
Korean studies had no choice but to start under an America-centric and asymmetrical knowledge production system during the Cold War. In addition, Korean studies were not as developed as Chinese and Japanese studies. At that time, Korean studies were results of mobilization and establishment of knowledge resources to obtain citizenship of the Academy.
The purpose of the CEAI’s decision to support the ARC was to strengthen Chinese studies. However, the ARC was reborn later as the headquarter of Korean studies. Networks and intellectual assets formed through the ARC exchange program supported by the CEAI were inherited to the JCKS and circulated back to the ARC. As such, Korean studies formed in Korea and the United States in the 1960s and 1970s were not separate from each other, but were created by interactions and networks (“The co-production of Korean studies”). In the process of the institutionalization of Korean studies, a subject that was emphasized the most was “an empirical research based on materials/data”. The first project launched by the ARC, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Ford Foundation, was to collect and edit historical data concerning Korea.
The first project JCKS started since it was established in 1967 was to host an academic conference inviting librarians. JCKS also tried to create the flow of ‘academic detente’ through exchanges with scholars of Korean studies in the Soviet Union. The institutionalization of Korean studies as “Science” and the systematic collection of knowledge resources were impossible in a Korean peninsula in which dictatorship prevailed and which was overwhelmed by the cold war ideology. Ironically, what made it possible was the funds and networks provided by the United States. The impact of the Cold War on the formation of Korean studies was strong and enormous. However, in order to grasp the meaning of its effect and aftermath, we should be free from the Cold War reductionism.