The histories of Korea and Vietnam are marked by many parallels. Before the traumas of division, civil war, and colonial occupation in the modern period, both were countries of “manifest civility,” polities ruled by an elite who prided themselves as cultural heirs to a Confucian antiquity. Both were countries touched by the scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism. Both confronted across uncertain boundaries an imperial China that was at once an existential threat and a source of cultural inspiration. Behind these parallels are also stark differences in historical trajectory, but little work in cultural or literary history have sought to place Vietnam and Korea’s early modern past in proper comparison. The group aims not only to put scholars of both countries in dialogue with one another, but to create a framework for meaningful collaboration across fields.
This event series brings together scholars interested in Korean-Vietnamese in dialogue with one another from across North America, Europe, and Asia in order to develop a framework for meaningful future collaboration. It will examine Vietnam and Korea through both a “connected” perspective and comparative lens. A “connected” perspective emphasizes linkages and circulations, namely the flow of ideas, texts, people and objects. A comparative lens hones in on issues of historical process and the convergence or divergence of particular institutions, cultural patterns, or social configurations.
The Choson History Society (CHS) is a public learned society fostering the study, research, and teaching of Korea’s past by connecting scholars working both outside and inside the professional academy.
The CHS is a community based on sharing, rather than competition or exclusivity. It provides opportunities for scholars who are operating independently or are otherwise under-resourced to share research and generate in their work. The CHS will also connect these scholars with one another, fostering a network for shared interests. Through talks, workshops, public lectures and other events, CHU will develop and host public resources for the study, research, and teaching of Korea’s past.
The aim of the Korean History and Culture Digital Museum is to bridge the widening gulf between public and academic knowledge. The on-going project features the work of UCLA students and faculty produced during their course of study. As students engage with the forefront of academic research in Korean history, they make their own contributions by communicating this research to a wider audience.