Korea

Steph Rue, a MFA candidate in Book Arts/Center for the Book at the University of Iowa, spent last summer studying the role of Buddhist spirituality in Korean papermaking in South Korea. The making of Korean paper, or "hanji," is an ancient craft that played an integral and often sacred role in the lives of Koreans for over 1,500 years. Like many traditions, Korean hand papermaking is rapidly declining, with only a few remaining masters of the craft. The purpose of Steph's research was to explore the sacred and spiritual role of hand papermaking in Korea before this important craft disappears.

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The University of Iowa will host an opening ceremony for its new King Sejong Institute (KSI) on Thursday, Oct. 9, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Iowa Memorial Union Second Floor Ballroom on the UI campus. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are invited to share in Korean food, culture, and learn about the courses and programs that will be offered by KSI.

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The University of Iowa has collaborated with Ewha Womans University of Seoul, South Korea, to start a Korean language institute on campus. The UI has collaborated with Ewha since last winter, and it will hold an official grand opening for the Korean language institute in the coming months.

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Ewha Womans University will open a Korean language institute at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, the United States, next month, the school said Tuesday. The school said it will run the institute, called the Iowa King Sejong Institute, in cooperation with the American university. The institute will be the sixth of its kind in the U.S. The foundation is supporting the creation and operation of King Sejong branch institutes around the world.

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The number of international students enrolled at the University of Iowa hit an all-time high this fall, and the increase from last year was more than double the national rate. There are 3,571 international students at UI, up 14 percent from the 2011-2012 academic year, in which there were 3,130 international students.

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What rattles a room of University of Iowa business students munching on Korean cuisine?

The pounding bass of “Gangnam Style.”

In an effort to inspire students to become more culturally aware, the UI Tippie College of Business hosted a seminar on Tuesday to the tune of the world-famous “Gangnam Style,” written and performed by Psy.

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Sure, it’s got a good beat and you dance to it, but Gangnam Style is more than your usual pop trifle about never getting back together or calling me, maybe.

“There’s something else going on here that explains its popularity,” says Mark Archibald, assistant director for global community engagement in the Tippie College of Business, who discussed the song’s world conquest over lunch with about 50 Tippie students Tuesday. “It’s a reminder of how many times we come across a cross-cultural context in our daily lives that we don’t understand.”

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Beijing native Wu Qu, a UI undergraduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently traveled back to his home country to research the motivations behind Chinese involvement in the Korean War. His trip to China was supported by a Stanley Award for International Research. Qu researched Chinese political leaders’ perception of the war, Chinese domestic propaganda during the war, and spoke with several Chinese Korean War veterans to get their unique perspectives. Here, Wu comments on his several aspects of his research trip, which at times left him feeling like a foreigner in his own country.

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A warm welcome to all of you for the 2012-13 academic year. In this brief note, I’d like to share a few thoughts on International Programs’ goals for the coming year as well as updates on activities and organizational changes.

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In this presentation, I trace the roots of Japanese reggae from the early 1970s until the present, focusing on the musical productive strategies through which “J-reggae” has come into being. Among these strategies are incorporation of Japanese musical traditions; creative use of the Japanese language (as opposed to patois); and in the way of artistic self-representation, male dancehall performers’ referencing of the figure of the samurai. I argue that these strategies invoke discourses of the traditional that are deeply interlinked with those of modernity in Japan, a modernity shaped by the specter of Western domination that Japanese, like Jamaicans, have long had to negotiate. I focus, however, on the link between these discourses of the traditional and a contemporary ethos of cultural internationalism in recessionary Japan, in which Japanese reggae practitioners imagine global southern countries like Jamaica as simultaneously signs of these artists’ cultural and sociopolitical cosmopolitanism, but also as tradition-bound and thus instructive symbols of Japan’s own potential rebirth.

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