[CFP] Archives, Archival Practice, and the Writing of History in Premodern Korea

“Archives, Archival Practice, and the Writing of History in Premodern Korea”

Journal of Korean Studies Premodern Korea Workshop

Columbia University, May 17, 2018

We invite proposals for “Archives, Archival Practice, and the Writing of History in Premodern Korea,” a one-day workshop organized by the Center for Korea Research (CKR) with generous support from the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS). The workshop is conceived as a platform that brings together a small number of scholars interested in rethinking the roles of archives in writing the history of premodern Korea.

Papers presented at the conference will be developed and then considered for publication in a special issue of The Journal of Korean Studies, scheduled for print in the Fall 2019 issue volume 24, number 2.

For any scholar interested in the human past in all its complexity, archives and archival sources have long been considered primary repositories of information essential to a given people’s history. In premodern Korea, they were gathered and housed in official or state storerooms, as well as in unofficial sites such as the libraries of lineage associations and local academies. The use of underutilized and rare materials—from unofficial sites in particular—has cast invaluable light on what and who were left out of the conventional historiography of premodern Korea. At the same time, the exclusion of documents pertaining to the lives of marginalized people as legitimate subjects of history raises the question of the diverse possible approaches to archival collection itself, which involves a series of decisions as to what to archive, what to discard, and why. Archives are thus not only products of recordkeeping and sites for the production and circulation of knowledge but rich subjects for historical and cultural studies, precisely because they are embedded in the structures of power that historically produced them. With its focus on archiving and archival practice in various premodern Korean contexts, this workshop takes the archive beyond its usual definition as a static collection of historical documents of the past. By addressing topics such as the formation and use of archives, the role of archives in shaping knowledge culture, and the archival dilemmas scholars encounter, the workshop invites a vital conversation about how histories of the archive might reshape stories written from the archives in premodern Korea.

Accommodations, all meals, and, under special circumstances, the cost of transportation will be covered for workshop participants. Please submit a 300-word abstract and a brief biographical note by December 31, 2017 to the workshop organizer, Jungwon Kim (jk3638@columbia.edu).