The 5th Korean Studies Workshop in Israel was held under the auspice of the Dangoor Centre on December 5 and 13, 2020. The workshop was supported by the Korean Embassy in Israel . “The main goals of the workshop are to build an academic community that its research focus on the Korean Peninsula and to support MA and PhD students in the field of Korean Studies”, explains Dr. Alon Levkowitz, a Korean expert at Bar-Ilan University and the initiator and Director of the event.
“This year, due to the Coronavirus, the workshop was held on Zoom unlike the previous four workshops in past years, a challenge that effected us all” Adds Dr. Danielle Gurevitch, Director of the Dangoor Centre. The opening remarks of the Korean Studies Workshop opened with kind greetings from Mr. Jeon hyong Uk, representative of the South Korean Embassy in Israel.
Two parallel panels were held in the morning session. On the first panel, Shay Yeger, (PhD candidate, University of Haifa) presented his view on the inter-Korean relations. Followed by Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, (PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, Research fellow, Department of East Asian Studies, Tel-Aviv University) who spoke about Ethnic Korean Immigration from Japan and North Korea’s Surveillance System. Yael Birman, (PhD candidate, University of Haifa) talked about the promote a healthy diet in schools using the traditional Korean lifestyle as a tool for implementing a change. The discussions were vivid and stimulating and moderated by Dr. Alon Levkowitz .
The parallel panel included Xenia Sklyar (MA student, Tel Aviv University) who talked about the Globalization of Variety Television Programs in East Asia and the Korean Wave. Jane Rosenfeld (PhD candidate, University of Haifa) presented a new research questioning the current thought on the End of K-Pop and the Future of Hallyu in the Post-Corona World. And Katriel Sigala (MA Student, Hebrew University) presented his MA thesis Korean Fans, Players, and Pros: The Orientalization of Korea in League of Legends E-sports. Dr Guy Shababo, Tel-Aviv University was the discussant of a most fascinating discussion held between the speakers.
The following panel was held jointly by all participant. Dr Ira Lyan from the Hebrew University presented the workshop special guest speaker: Prof. Ji-Yoon An from Tubingen University, who provided several critical view points on Korea Studies, that can be of help in the academic writing process.
The second day gathering included two panels . In the first, moderated by Prof. Dafna Zur, from Stanford University, Israeli PhD candidates who currently study in the United States presented there research dissertations. Speakers included: Anat Shwartz (PhD candidate, University of California Irvine) who talked about gender in Korea and Aviya Amir (PhD candidate, University of California, Riverside) spoke about Korean and Japanese cinema.
Followed by another workshop panel, moderated by Dr. Liora Sarfati, Tel Aviv University. At which the following speakers presented their correct projects: Anat Haina (MA student, The Hebrew University) who spoke about her new translation from Korean to Hebrew “Almond” by Sohn Won-Pyung. Dr Guy Shababo, Tel-Aviv spoke about Calm Water is a Mirror: The Unique Neo-Confucian Meditation of Korea.
The special ley speaker was Dr. Liora Sarfati who proudly presented her new book: Contemporary Korean Shamanism: From Ritual to Digital. A discussion concluded the workshop, moderated by Dr. Guy Podoler, Haifa University. All participants were unanimous in the hope that by next year our lives will return to normal and it would be possible to meet in person as done in the past.
Dr. Liora Sarzati