Korea

Organized Panel Session

(28) "Objective" Science? Different Ways of Appropriating Science in the Korean Context

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Park Tower 8219, Lobby Level

The discourse on science has been produced and appropriated in diverse ways in accordance with different agents, time periods, and contexts in Korean history. Indeed, discussions on topics deemed as science in the modern era such as medicine, biology, chemistry, and physics extended beyond mere depictions of systematic studies of the physical world. Rather, they were often shaped by and had implications on gender, politics, and even national identity. This panel locates three different groups of actors involved in this process to explore how their diverse subjectivities, needs, and contexts were interwoven into their utilization of science and contribution to the discourse on science in nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries Korea. Janet Y. Lee focuses on Chosŏn female writers (early nineteenth century) and explores how their actions and reflections at home enabled them to combine divination and science to produce knowledge. Sangmee Oh explores how American physician missionaries in Korea (1910s-1930s) used their medical knowledge and physical anthropology to define “Korean natural characters,” and thereby strengthened existing images of Korea. Hanmee N. Kim, focuses on Korean students studying the U.S. during the 1920’s and their use of the discourse on science to secure a place for themselves in the Korean nationalist movement. The studies in this inter-disciplinary panel seek to examine not only the diverse ways “science” was mobilized, but also to consider its ramifications in the Korean context—such as deeming what is acceptable, authoritative, and “rational” forms of knowledge and unacceptable and “irrational” forms of knowledge.

Presentations:

Sangmee Oh

University of California, Los Angeles, California

Presentation(s):

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Sangmee Oh

University of California, Los Angeles, California

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Janet Yoon-sun Lee

Keimyung University, Not Applicable, Republic of Korea

Presentation(s):

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Sangmee Oh

University of California, Los Angeles, California

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Hanmee N. Kim

Wheaton College, Illinois

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Christopher P. Hanscom

University of California, Los Angeles, California

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