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Constructed Places / Contested Spaces: Critical Geographies in Korea

Project Update

The Critical Geographies in Korea group got off to an auspicious start this past fall, when all of the colleagues who were invited to participate accepted our invitation. During the course of the fall, the group began exchanging ideas on the concept of "critical geographies," and we held a series of orientation luncheons, for UCLA participants. The project was greatly assisted by the participation of Jehun Ryu, a visiting Fulbright professor in East Asian L&C, whose enthusiasm for the project, and close ties to the geography department here at UCLA, has been instrumental in attracting participation of graduate students and faculty from across numerous disciplines, particularly history and geography. Through his assistance, Nick Entrikin and Michael Curry from the Geography Dept. have agreed to participate in our conference now slated for the weekend of May 12-15, 2004. During January, the UCLA participants held an orientation, and people briefly introduced their projects. There were plans for a mini conference in May of 2003, but because of a family crisis, Sallie Yea was unable to make the trip to UCLA, and we decided to postpone the mini conference, and replace it with an informal meeting of the UCLA group. Currently, the group uses a listserv for various collaborative and communication centered endeavors. The list of participants is now considerable, and includes notable Korea experts such as Dr. Laurel Kendall, Prof. Nancy Abelmann, and Prof. Laura Nelson among others. There are eight active graduate student participants as well. The collaborative website that was set up for the group has not been as great a success as anticipated, largely because of the cumbersome nature of the selected system and some support issues in CDH. Nevertheless, the group remains focused and energetic. In several weeks time, there will be an additional call for paper titles and in November, there will be a call for abstracts.

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