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Today's Challenges: Transitions in South Korea-U.S. Relations, Koreans in the U.S. and Black-Korean Ties

Hybrid symposium

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This hybrid symposium explores three interconnected topics in the broader framework of geopolitics in Asia and the United States domestic politics - i) Koreans in the United States; ii) South Korea-United States relations; iii) Black-Korean relations in the United States and South Korea.

With the rise of globalization in the 1990s and as South Korea emerged as a globally competitive economy, South Korea-United States relations shifted to strengthen cooperation at many levels. However, racial discrimination against Asians in the United States has had a long history, as white nationalists imagine Asians unsuitable for assimilation into the nation. Indeed, the recent increase in political, social, cultural, and racial polarization in the United States, together with the rise of white, alt-right nationalism, not only threatens democracy but also has given rise to increased hate crimes against Asian Americans. Given the contemporary political context, this one-day symposium gathers leading scholars to explore three interconnected topics in the broader framework of geopolitics in Asia and the United States domestic politics: Koreans in the United States, South Korea-United Staes relations and Black-Korean relations in the United States and South Korea.

For the details about this symposium, including bios of speakers, please click here.   

This symposium is organized by the Center for Korean Studies (CKS) at UCLA and sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles. 

Dates and Place: May 19th, 2023, Main Conference Room (11360), Young Research Library (YRL)

This event is held in hybrid; to attend the event virtually via the Zoom webinar platform, please click here to register.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Time in Los Angeles (PST). 


10:00-10:20 AM

Panel I: Historical Perspective on the US-Korean Relations

10:20 - 11:50 AM

Moon-Ho Jung (University of Washington) 

     Michin Nara: Why America is Not in the Heart 

Joo Ok Kim (University of California, San Diego)

     Warring Genealogies: Race, Kinship, and the Korean War 

Moderated by Crystal Mun-Hye Baik (University of California, Riverside)

Coffee Break



12:00-1:00 PM

Panel II: Changes in Inter-Ethnic Relationships in the US

1:10-3:15 PM

Saundra Henderson Window (Author)

     From War-torn Korea Straight into Compton 

Crystal Anderson (George Mason University) 

     Reply 1992: Black Engagement with Korean Popular Culture

Kyeyoung Park (University of California, Los Angeles) 

     How did White racism contribute to developing Black-Korean tension?

Moderated by Kyeyoung Park 

Coffee Break


Panel III: Trajectories of International Relations in the 21st Century 

3:20-5:00 PM

Erik Mobrand (RAND Corporation; Seoul National University)

     Washington's Democracy in Asia: South Korea and the Prospects of a Global Partnership

Jae-Jung Suh (International Christian University, Japan)

     San Francisco between Seoul and Tokyo? Colonial Past in Korea's Contemporary International Relations

Moderated by Gene Park (Loyola Marymount University) 

Coffee Break 


Roundtable Discussion 

5:00-5:45 PM

Closing Remarks

5:45-5:50 PM


Published: Friday, October 28, 2022