Confucianism and Society in Modern East Asia: The Case of Korea

You are cordially invited to

The Portland State University Institute for Asian Studies
Annual Trena Gillette Memorial Lecture 

featuring Dr. John B. Duncan, Director, Center for Korean Studies, and Professor of Korean History, UCLA

“Confucianism and Society in Modern East Asia: The Case of Korea”

WHEN:  Friday, May 9, 2014
DOORS open at 5:30 PM  (for networking & light refreshments)
LECTURE begins at  6:00 PM

LOCATION:  PSU campus, Smith Memorial Student Union, room 236
1825 SW Broadway, Portland
PSU parking lots are FREE after 5pm on Friday’s (view PSU parking map >>)

The is event is free and open to the public.

SYNOPSIS:  
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most intellectual and political leaders in the countries of East Asia turned away from Confucianism, blaming it for their weakness in the face of Western imperialism. After the remarkable economic development of the past few decades, many people in East Asia, along with many Western scholars, are now attributing East Asian countries’ success to their Confucian heritage, with its emphases on education, respect for authority, and family values. Understandings of Korea have been central to both narratives: Korea’s loss of independence at the beginning of the twentieth century was attributed to its adherence to Confucian orthodoxy and South Korea rapid economic development since the 1960s has been explained in terms of that country’s comparatively strong preservation of Confucian social values.

This talk will consider the ways in which Confucianism has been intertwined with politics, economic development and social change in modern Korea, and will conclude with comments on how leaders in other East Asian countries are now seeking to revive Confucianism to deal with a wide range of social, political, and diplomatic problems.

ABOUT JOHN B. DUNCAN:
Dr. Duncan is Director or the Center for Korean Studies, and Professor of Korean History at UCLA.  His primary teaching and research interests are in pre-modern Korea within the larger context of East Asia, although he also has several publications on modern Korea. His work focuses on intellectual and cultural history, exploring such questions as the extent and nature of Confucian orthodoxy in pre-modern Korea and the influence of Confucianism on modern Korea.

Learn more about the Annual Trena Gillette Memorial Lecture >>

Sponsored by the

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The Institute for Asian Studies
Portland State University
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