2023 Pony Chung Foundation International Conference: Sonic Narratives of the Korean War Division: Fresh Insights from History, Literature, Anthropology and Music

Discipline : Other
Speaker(s) : Dr. Dafna Zur, Dr. Heonik Kwon, Dr. John DiMoia, Dr. Jong Hwan Do, Dr. Yoon Joo Hwang, Dr. Seong Nae Kim, Dr. Pil Ho Kim, Dr. Keith Howard, Dr. Boduerae Kwon, Dr. Peter Moody & Sewon Kim
Language : English

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Original time zone : 2023-12-09 10:00 Seoul (Asia/Seoul)
My local time zone : 2023-12-09 10:00 ()
posted by Nadja Nielsen


2023 Pony Chung Foundation International Conference, 70th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.

Korea University in Seoul will host the international interdisciplinary conference “Sonic Narratives of the Korean War Division: Fresh Insights from History, Literature, Anthropology and Music” on December 9.

The event is in person.

Sonic Narratives of the Korean Division, Fresh Insights from History, Literature, Anthropology, and Music 

Date: Saturday December 9th 

Location: Korea University Research Institute of Korean Studies 

고려대학교 민족문화연구원 (room TBD)

The year 2023 marks the 70th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, which ended major hostilities yet left the Korean peninsula in a condition of disintegration and precarity that has persisted to present day. From 1945 until that point, two opposing power centers had formed in the peninsula's northern and southern halves because of the haphazard planning of Korea’s state of affairs following liberation from Japanese colonization, as well as the onset of the Cold War conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. Although music is typically used to unify and anchor a community when people establish or regain nationhood, initiatives to create music that would sing for the entire Korean peninsula were attempted but failed as musicians clashed with state authorities and were embroiled in ideologically driven conflicts with one another. Nonetheless, the memories of individuals who experienced the tragedies and dislocation accompanying the Korean division have been preserved and carried down via works of sonic creation, particularly music, so that people in today's world may grasp and identify with the complexities of what it was like to live during that time. 

This workshop aims to foster dialogue across borders and disciplinary boundaries to further the inquiry of the sonic culture that accompanied Korea’s drift toward division. It is hoped the participants and audience will be able to discover more fully what the outpouring of emotion of individual expression of musicians sounded like throughout this tragic and eventful period. Following the presentations and discussions, there will be a special music performance of works composed during Korea's early post-liberation period.

10:00-10:05- Welcome

10:05-11:00- Keynote Address

Dr. Dafna Zur (Stanford University) “How Music Matters: Tongyo in Times of Division”

11:00-11:10- Break

11:10-1:00- Panel 1: Divided Voices of Cold War Korea

Dr. John DiMoia  (Seoul National University) "Anticipating the Unknown: USAMGIK, CATS (Civil Affairs Training Schools), and Crafting Knowledge of Korea, 1942-1948"

Dr. Seong Nae Kim (Sogang University) "Lamenting Words and Songs in the Memorialization of the Cheju April 3 Incident"

Dr. Yoon Joo Hwang (University of Central Florida) “Music and Musicians of Cold War Korea: Global Ambitions, Limited Opportunities”

Dr. Jong-hwan Do (Poet) "A Pioneer of Korean Children's Movements: Composer Chung Soonchul"

Discussant: Dr. Heonik Kwon (Cambridge University)

1:00-2:00 lunch break

2:00-3:30- Panel 2: Singing and Reading Korea's Divergence

Dr. Peter Moody (Korea University) "Tracing the Paths of Korean Composers Who Moved North”

Dr. Boduerae Kwon (Korea University) "People's Happiness as Propaganda: The Two Koreas' Competition over Life Values in the 1950s."

Dr. Keith Howard (SOAS, University of London) "Glimpsing Korean Traditional Music in Two Films from Two Koreas: Yangsando (1955) and Moranbong, Chronique coréene (1959)"

DiscussantDr. Pil Ho Kim (Ohio State University)

4:00-5:30- Special Sonic Culture Panel & Lecture Recital

SHORT SPEECH & INTRO: Sewon Kim & Yoon Joo Hwang

 Sewon Kim “My Father, Kim Sunnam”

"Lullaby for Bassoon and Piano" (1948) Kim Sunnam, Text & Composer

Yoon Joo Hwang (University of Central Florida), Bassoon

Hojun Ryu (Korea University), Piano

Sewon Kim, Narrator

"The Korean War, Memory and Nostalgia for Bassoon and Piano" (2023)   SiHyun Uhm (UCLA), composer

Yoon Joo Hwang, (University of Central Florida), Bassoon

Jae Hoon Kim (University of Michigan), Media Artist & Creative Director

"Half Moon" (반달) Yun Geukyoung, composer

      Jae-Hong Park and Ki-Moon Sung (Tongyo Duo), 

"Autumn Night" (가을밤), composed by Park Taejoon

Jae-Hong Park and Ki-Moon Sung (Tongyo Duo)

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