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Friday, May 21, 2004

Unannounced conferences

Earlier I had made an entry that a conference with as grand name as 2nd World Congress of Korean Studies, organized in Pyongyang, DPRK next August had gone unnoticed by me until month after the proposal deadline. Not that I've gotten accustomed to get every conference announcement straight to my desk, but I do search quite extensively every now and then for scholarly events worth attending.

This spring I've also been wondering whether the Korean Anthropological Society is going to have its yearly conference at all, usually held at the end of May, beginning of July. I've followed notices at the Society homepage and couple of other notice boards, but it's only two weeks since I learned about the conference that takes place this weekend. Not that I'd been able to attend, but still. Previously I've attended three times, and they've always been good occasions to learn and socialize. (The pictures of a shaman ritual I have elsewhere at this site are from one of these conferences.) What I've always liked about the Korean anthro community, especially compared to us here in Finland, is that it's truly national. The chairmanship goes around the country, these conferences are held all over despite of the centrality of metropolitan Seoul in Korea in general.

The theme of the conference this time is "Resistance at the perimeter: the meaning of the alternative, resistant subcultures in Korea" (주변의 반란: 한국의 대안적, 저항적 하위문화의 의미) (The conference program). ("Adjustment at the perimeter" would've been more fitting theme for my own stuff...)

I want to think (or hope) that it's been only because of poor information and lack of planning that these conferences have been kept out of public.

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