CFP: Interplay between Korea and Southeast Asia (ANU 2015)


Latent Histories, Manifest Impacts:
Interplay between Korea and Southeast Asia

26-27 February 2015, Australian National University

Proposals due by 15 July 2014

Korean Studies at the ANUThe ANU Korea Institute invites proposals for our conference, “Latent Histories, Manifest Impacts: Interplay between Korea and Southeast Asia,” to be held on 26-27 February, 2015 at the Australian National University. This is an interdisciplinary, inter-regional conference that focuses on the rich history of contact and interaction between Korea and the region of Southeast Asia.

The connections between Korea and Southeast Asia can be characterized in terms of both “latent histories” and “manifest impacts.” The term “latent histories” refers to the shared and interconnected histories of Korea and Southeast Asia, which are deeper and more extensive than is commonly acknowledged. From the 13th century at least, Korean traders engaged with commercial networks along the maritime rim of Asia running through Ryukyu to Southeast Asia. Korea’s colonial experience parallels that of the Philippines, Vietnam and Burma (now Myanmar) in that they all experienced forced incorporation into colonial empires and developed nationalist movements. The division of the Korean peninsula into North and South Korea since 1948 led to complicated regional political dynamics within the context of the development of the global Cold War.

Connections between Korea and Southeast Asia since the 1980s have resulted in “manifest impacts.” Since 1997, the ASEAN + 3 initiative has created a formal structure for strategic engagement between Korea and Southeast Asia. There is significant migration of Southeast Asian women to Korea to become wives of Korean men in rural areas. That phenomenon has raised a complex set of gender and ethnic issues. Korean firms are prominent in the Southeast Asian economy. K-pop and Korean television dramas have an enthusiastic following in Southeast Asia. Korean Christian missionaries are active in the region. The expansion of such connections suggests a dynamic flow of influence that is likely to continue and evolve.

The conference aims to offer in-depth analyses of the history of contact and the increasingly significant ties between Korea and Southeast Asia in a wide range of areas, including historical connections and divergent developments in civil society, politics, status in the global economy, religious encounters, gender dynamics and the creative industries.

Potential topics for panels and roundtables include:

  • Korea and Southeast Asia: Historical Connections    
  • Politics and Society in Korea and Southeast Asia: Interconnections, Lessons, and Challenges    
  • The Great Financial Crisis and a Shifting Dynamics in Regional and Global Political Economy    
  • Korean Popular Culture in Southeast Asia    
  • Migration, Family and Citizenship    
  • Missionary Encounters and Changing Hegemony in Global Christianity    
  • ASEAN + 3 Initiative and Inter-Asia    
  • The Impact of Southeast Asian Cultures and People on Everyday Life in Korea    

We are seeking proposals for panel, roundtable, or visual/performative presentations. Interested scholars and PhD students are encouraged to submit an abstract (250 words) and a one-page C.V. to by July 15, 2014. We will notify authors of the status of proposals by 15 August, 2014. There may be a small amount of funding to support travel for approved proposals. Details about funding will be announced with the preliminary program in August.

Conference organizers plan to select a set of papers for publication in relevant journals. For all inquiries, please send an e-mail to For updated information on the conference, please visit our website:

The conference is co-sponsored by the ANU Southeast Asia Institute and the Academy of Korean Studies.