History of GW's Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities

The Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities series was established in 1995 with an endowment established by the gift of the Hahn Moo-Sook Foundation in Seoul. Hahn Moo-Sook (1918-1993) is one of Korea's most honored writers, and the Colloquium series upholds and recreates her spirit of openness, curiosity, and commitment to education. In the capital of the United States—a very political town—where programs on policy-oriented current affairs reign, the HMS Colloquium series at GW purports to provide a forum for academic discussion of the Korean humanities, as Korea's presence has been increasingly felt on the international arena in various cultural and academic subfields. In this meeting participants are invited to enjoy an interdisciplinary and international dialog on Korean arts, history, language, literature, thought and religious systems in the context of East Asia and the world.

The HMS Colloquium in the Korean Humanities series has become one of the fine institutions at GW. Various organizations within and beyond GW, including the Korean Embassy, different departments of the Smithsonian Institution, and other universities in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, have joined hands with HMS Colloquium to organize programs in the Korean humanities. GW's Sigur Center for Asian Studies has been a constant sponsor since 1998. Each of our very popular meetings has received enthusiastic reviews from those who have attended it, including the speakers, all of whom have been world-renowned leaders in the particular field of their talks.

We have videotaped every meeting. 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.

Prof. Young-Key Kim-Renaud is the founder of the HMS Colloquium series and has convened all the colloquia. She has later been joined by her colleagues at GW, Prof. R. Richard Grinker of the Anthropology Department (from 1996-present), Prof. Kirk Larsen of the History Department (2000-2008, while he was with GW), and Prof. Gregg Brazinsky of the History Department (2008-present), and Prof. 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 Young-Key Kim-Renaud, retiring from GW in 2015.

For a complete list of our past meetings, please visit eall.columbian.gwu.edu/hahn-moo-sook-colloquium. As the list indicates, we began to include commentators in the program in 1998. We have also published the colloquia presentations as a book (1998) and monographs (since 1999).

Background:

The HMS Colloquium in the Korean Humanities Series at The George Washington University 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 Colloquium series is made possible by an endowment established by the estate of Hahn Moo-Sook (1918-1993), one of Korea's most honored writers, in order to uphold her spirit of openness, curiosity, and commitment to education.

[NB: Further information is available at the website.]