Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium


The Hahn Moo-Sook (HMS) Colloquium is part of the George Washington University’s Korean Humanities Series. The event provides a forum for academic discussion of Korean arts, history, language, literature, thought and religious systems in the context of East Asia and the world.

The HMS Colloquium is made possible by an endowment established by the estate of Hahn Moo-Sook (1918-93), one of Korea’s most honored writers, in order to uphold her spirit of openness, curiosity and commitment to education.

Speaker stands at the podium

The 26th annual HMS Colloquium, which honored Hahn Moo-Sook's 100th birthday


Current Conveners

  • Gregg Brazinsky, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, GW
  • R. Richard Grinker, Professor Anthropology & International Affairs & Human Sciences, GW
  • Immanuel Kim, Korea Foundation and Kim-Renaud Associate Professor of Korean Literature and Culture Studies, GW
  • Jisoo Monica Kim, Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures, GW
  • Young-Key Kim-Renaud, Professor Emeritus of Korean Language and Culture and International Affairs, GW



The HMS Colloquium in the Korean Humanities series was established in 1995 with an endowment from the gift of the Hahn Moo-Sook Foundation in Seoul. The colloquium is named for Hahn Moo-Sook (1918-93), who was an acclaimed Korean writer.

Based in Washington, D.C., the colloquium series at GW invites participants to discuss the Korean humanities and Korea’s growing international presence in culture and academics. The speakers are world-renowned leaders in their fields.

Over the years, the HMS Colloquium has grown in popularity, with various organizations including the Korean Embassy, the Smithsonian Institution and other universities in the area joining GW to organize programs in the Korean humanities. GW's Sigur Center for Asian Studies has been a sponsor since 1998.

In 1998 a special conference was organized to discuss Korean women's creativity from the 15th century to the 20th century, to commemorate the 5th anniversary of Hahn Moo-Sook's passing and the 15th anniversary of the Korean Language and Culture Program at GW. The resulting volume, Creative Women of Korea: The Fifteenth through the Twentieth Centuries, was published in 2003 by M. E. Sharpe in Armonk, New York, one of the major publishers in the United States.

Professor Young-Key Kim-Renaud of the East Asian Languages and Literatures Department is the HMS Colloquium founder and convener. She has been joined by several colleagues at GW, Professor R. Richard Grinker of the Anthropology Department (1996-present), Professor Kirk Larsen of the History Department (2000-2008, while he was with GW), Professor Gregg Brazinsky of the History Department (2008-present) and Professor Jisoo Kim, Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Literatures (2014-present), who became the newest co-convener and successor to Kim-Renaud, who retired from GW in 2015.


Past Programs

The department has also published past colloquia presentations as a book (1998) and monographs (since 1999).

  • 17th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2009): "Representing Korea's Visual Culture and Heritage"
  • 16th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2008): "Tradition and Modernity in Korean Literature"
  • 15th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2007): "Korean Architecture"
  • 14th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2007): "Korean Poetry"
  • 13th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2006): "Korean Food"
  • 12th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2005): "Military"
  • 11th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2004): "Education" (Proceedings)
  • 10th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2003): "Korean American Writers" (Sigur Center Asia Papers 20)
  • 9th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2002): "Cinema"
  • 8th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2001): "Music"
  • 7th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (2000): "Christianity"
  • 6th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (1999): "Translation"
  • 5th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (1998): "Creative Women"
  • 4th Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (1997): "Writing and Reconciliation"
  • 3rd Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (1996): "Shamanism in a Confucian Society: Past and Present"
  • 2nd Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (1996): "Views of Enlightenment and Monastic Practice in Korean Son (Ch'an/Zen) Buddhism"
  • 1st Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium (1995): "Psyche and Cosmos in Traditional Korean Thought" (GW News)