PREAMBLES AND MAJOR THEMES
The Korean Studies in Oceania and Southeast Asia has gained a significant momentum since the 1990s. There have been two broad trends in its development. The efforts to promote and support Korean Studies from institutions and scholars within Korea which accelerated in the 1990s can be categorized as “the trend of Globalization of Korean Studies.” On the other hand, in the 2000s, we have witnessed the need to expand the human resources pool among the local scholars and the research activities on Korea and Korean Studies in local countries. This can be summarized as “the trend of Localization of Korean Studies”. It is important to note that the efforts to globalize and the need to localize Korean studies are interrelated, in the sense that globalization of Korean Studies cannot be successful without successful localization. KSASA was established in 2005 to consolidate the localisation efforts of scholars and institutions in Southeast Asia who have been committed to Korean Studies and to link with those outside the region including Korea. KSASA, therefore, has endeavoured to reconcile these two trends and to promote “Glocalisation of Korean Studies in Oceania and Southeast Asia”, combining the efforts to globalize and the need to localize.
Korean Studies within Korea is defined as an academic discipline which studies what characterizes “Koreanness”, whereas the Korean Studies outside Korea needs to be understood under the umbrella of “Regional Studies”. Hence, Korean Studies needs to be inter- and cross-disciplinary in nature, incorporating all areas of studies in Humanities, Social Sciences, Business and Economics. So far, the major focus of Korean Studies in Oceania and Southeast Asia has been given to Language Education and Humanities, providing the basis of the promotion of Korean Studies in the region. However, in the 2000s the need to extend the research and educational base to Social Sciences, Business and Economics has received further attention due to the expansion of the Korean culture industries in Southeast Asia (so-called the Korean Wave), the globalization of Korean business, and active participation of Korea in the international relations and politics. In addition, the success of localisation of Korean Studies will depend on how Korean Studies research and education can be integrated in wider related disciplines, so that Korean Studies will not remain an “enclave” in academic disciplines in Southeast Asia.
In this context, the papers and discussions aim to link Korean Studies with the localisation of Korean Wave and cultural interactions in Southeast Asia. There has been a positive link between Korean Studies and the Korean Wave in the region and for the desirable two ways of cultural interactions between Southeast Asia and Korea will need an appropriate institutional and social setting, supported by the cooperation in the area of intellectual property issues in the region. Consequently, the major themes of the conference are selected as follows: