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Improving Efficiency by Adjusting Team Responsibilities

In order to implement its various international exchange programs more efficiently and make a fresh start for 2001, the Korea Foundation has reorganized elements of its existing structure. The most noteworthy feature of the recent reorganization is the integration of similar programs previously handled by different teams. For example, the fellowship programs, scholarships for overseas graduate students, and support for publication and publishing grants have been brought together under the newly formed Fellowship Program Team. Similarly, programs for support of overseas research institutes have been transferred to the Korean Studies Support Team, while the program for organizing bilateral forums with various countries around the world has been assigned to the Personnel Exchange Team. The following is a summary of the introduction of the Foundation? teams and their major responsibilities. - Ed.



Korean Studies Support Team

By Park Kyoung-chul, Director (kcpark@kf.or.kr)



This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Korea Foundation. Among the Foundation? foremost programs from the outset has been its support for the promotion of Korean studies overseas, while over the past 10 years, through trial and error, it has been successful in notably increasing opportunities for Korea-related studies abroad and facilitating research in this area. In the United States, where the field of regional studies is particularly active, there has been significant growth in Korean studies at the university level.

With an emphasis on establishing professorships and lecture programs in Korean studies, the Foundation has also invested heavily in cultivating future scholars by providing scholarships to graduate students and post-doctoral fellowships to promising young scholars. One encouraging outcome has been the appointment of recipients of Korea Foundation post-doctoral fellowships to newly established professorships in Korean studies. Recently, the Foundation has been making conscious efforts to promote the development of Korean studies in regions other than the United States. However, there have been difficulties in implementing effective programs due to differences in education systems, economic conditions, and the overall environment for the development of Korean studies.

Under the Foundation? recent reorganization, the Korean Studies Support Team is responsible for providing assistance for the establishment of professorships and the operation of Korean studies lectures at universities, as well as the support of prominent overseas research institutes and think tanks engaged in Ko-rean research projects. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, the Foundation plans to re-evaluate the policies, results, and methods of approach for each project and start anew according to the needs of a changing environment. In order to promote Korean studies in regions other than the United States, the Foundation plans to come up with a development model for each region and strengthen links with local academic communities, while exploring ways to develop the most appropriate means for supporting Korean studies abroad, based on suggestions from within and outside the Foundation.



Support for Overseas Universities

Under its program to support Korean studies overseas, this year the Foundation will provide support for the establishment of five new Korean studies professorships. Four of these professorships will be established under an agreement that calls for the Foundation to provide support equal to 80 percent of the professor? salary for a three-year period, after which the recipient university will assume this responsibility. This kind of support program is most suited to universities that have the financial capability to invest in Korean studies and where demand for Korean studies courses is high. For this reason, this program mostly involves support for universities in the United States.

This year the Foundation will also provide support for Korean studies courses, research, and conferences in 33 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam.



Support for Overseas Research Institutes

The Foundation will also extend support to many overseas research institutes for their Korea-related research efforts. With the new U.S. administration in place, there is a clear need to review and coordinate North Korea policy between Seoul and Washington. Hence, the majority of projects receiving grants this year will be concerned with North Korea, securing peace on the Korean peninsula and regional security in Northeast Asia.



Fellowship Program Team

By Suh Ah-jeong, Director (ajsuh@kf.or.kr)



When the Korea Foundation was established in December 1991, the status of Korean studies overseas was studied and analyzed from various perspectives along with ways to promote it being widely explored. At the time, a consensus was reached on the urgency of building the infrastructure to properly promote Korean studies overseas, which was in danger of dying out, especially in the United States and Europe. Some specific suggestions included the establishment of Korean studies professorships, which would retain existing scholars in the field, and the expansion of Korean studies courses to introduce a new generation of students to the discipline. Accordingly, and based on its limited resources, the Foundation forged a strategy to concentrate its support on establishing professorships, promoting library expansion, developing textbooks, and providing scholarships to graduate students at a few major universities. Financial constraints made it inevitable to limit support for research activities by individual scholars in the field at a minimum level.

However, after 10 years of providing support for Korean studies, the Foundation has seen the emergence of a new generation of scholars, which has represented the most noticeable change and development in this area.

The ultimate purpose of Foundation support for Korean studies overseas is to produce outstanding Korean studies scholars who will promote understanding of Korea in the international community through credible and relevant research. To develop an effective support system capable of yielding maximum results on the part of these scholars is akin to the work of a farmer who puts all his energy into his crops prior to the fall harvest season.

Therefore, the support program for overseas research institutes, which has been a major Found-ation focus, has been revised to concentrate on and consolidate the most successful Korean studies programs. There has also been a change in direction in terms of assistance for individual scholars, such that more effective support will be provided by identifying the most appropriate support needed at each stage of development. To implement this change in direction as efficiently as possible, the new Fellowship Program Team has been assigned responsibility for such programs as Korean Language Fellowship, Korean Studies Fellowship, scholarships for Korean studies graduate students, publication grants for scholars, and subsidy programs for publishers.



Increased Specialization of Fellowships

The current fellowship program will be re-examined in terms of content of support and method of selection, while operations of similar programs overseas will be studied in order to improve the Foundation? fellowship program. We will also be focusing on addressing what has been pointed out as one of the biggest shortcomings in the field of Korean studies, namely the lack of exchange and joint research between Korean and foreign scholars. We will also strengthen our ties with public and private organizations involved in the same kind of work within Korea to provide improved assistance to foreign students and scholars in Korea.


Broadened Scope of Scholarships for Graduate Students

The graduate student scholarship program has been operated under long-term agreements with selected universities, however, it is now necessary to broaden the program? scope so that any outstanding student of Korean studies could become a scholarship recipient regardless of what university they attend. In any program that deals simultaneously with universities in the United States, Europe, and Asia ― all with their own education and administrative systems, different levels of development in Korean studies, and number of years required for degree programs ― there will always be the problem of devising methods of operation that will both accommodate regional distinctions and ensure academic effectiveness. This year our team will seek to develop a solution to this problem.


Enhanced Assistance for Korean Studies Scholars

In addition to improving the effectiveness and impact of existing programs, another key task is to identify what kind of support program is most needed by foreign scholars of Korean studies and develop effective ways to operate such a program. It should not be difficult to identify at what stage of development support is most wanting or lacking, based on the experiences of scholars who have received support from the Foundation in the past. However, it will likely be very challenging to come up with a support program that can be operated on a long-term, continuous basis, in light of the Korean economy? current state and the financial condition of the Foundation.





Personnel Exchange Team

By Kim Hoe-kil, Director (hkkim@kf.or.kr)




The saying that ?eeing is believing?well expresses the objectives and importance of the Foundation? personnel exchange programs. As such, the Foundation will exert continued efforts to promote Korea to the world in a positive light and better understand other countries in order to contribute to international goodwill and friendship as well as boosting bilateral exchange and cooperation.

This year, focus will be placed on expanding existing exchange programs to countries with which the Foundation has had relatively limited exchange, while implementing a wide range of invitation programs for people from all segments of society. As for the Foundation? annual forum program, which has recently been assigned to the Personnel Exchange Team, we will emphasize bolstering the substance of these efforts.


Invitation Program

A new program has been devised to support visits by individuals in the academic and cultural fields who have been invited to Korea by domestic academic and cultural organizations. In particular, we intend to boost mutual exchanges of information and cooperation in the fields of academics and culture on a non-governmental basis.


Expansion of Invitation Program for Young Leaders

To expand international exchange and increase understanding through personnel exchange of young leaders, young people involved in a variety of fields will be invited to visit Korea as a means of increasing their understanding of the country and strengthening cooperative relations among professionals in similar fields. This year, the Foundation aims to go beyond the major countries of the United States, Japan, and Russia, to include exchanges with others with which it has had relatively little interaction, such as countries in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America.

Annual Forums

The Foundation has been organizing and providing support for annual forums that serve as permanent channels of communication with major countries on a private level. In 2001, the Foundation plans to hold bilateral forums not only with the United States, Japan, China, and Russia, but also Britain, Israel, and Mexico.

Through these annual forums, leading figures from the political, economic, academic, news media, and social and cultural sectors have the opportunity to participate in serious discussion on matters of mutual concern while seeking ways to promote forward-looking bilateral relations and foster personal relations. We will make every effort to further develop these forums so that they can significantly contribute to strengthening international relations.


Study Korea Program for Educators

The Foundation? invitation of educators from abroad to visit Korea is designed to improve foreign educators?understanding of Korean culture and history through participation in workshops that include lectures on Korea and visits to cultural attractions. The ultimate goal is to have the participants?heightened awareness of Korea reflected in the classroom instruction and production of textbooks in their home countries. In 2001, the Foundation plans to continue such programs as the workshop for teachers and educators from English-speaking countries that has been conducted since 1992, and exchange visits of teachers from Japan that began last year in cooperation with the Japan Foundation. This year, the Foundation also plans to support visits by American educators involved with the SAT II.




Cultural Exchange Team

By Yoon Keum-jin, Director (kjyoon@kf.or.kr)




The Korea Foundation? cultural exchange projects have been growing steadily both in number and scale, while due to the overall diversification and change in cultural and arts activities, artists both in Korea and overseas now have greater expectations of the Foundation. It is not enough to be satisfied with the quantitative expansion of cultural exchange programs over the past 10 years. It is now time to pool the Foundation? resources and work toward qualitative program development. This year the Found-ation plans to strengthen cultural exchange programs that provide a basis for international exchange and develop distinctive programs that are clearly distinguishable from those operated by other organizations.


Support for Overseas Museums

Expansion of the Korean Gallery at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in Hawaii will be completed in June this year, while the Korean Gallery at the Birming-ham Museum, now undergoing renovation and repair, will also reopen this year. The Foundation will also provide support for expansion of the Korean Gallery at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, establishment of a Korean Gallery at the Peabody Essex Museum, and a special Korean exhibition at the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

With the opening of an expanded Korean Gallery at the Guimet Museum in Paris in January, the Foundation? efforts to establish independent galleries for Korean art in the world? leading museums have been especially fruitful. Over the years, the Found-ation has provided substantial support for the creation or expansion of Korean galleries in 13 museums with significant collections of Korean art in seven countries, and is justifiably proud of this achievement. Now, rather than simply establishing additional Korean galleries, it is important to find ways to effectively operate and maintain these exceptional permanent exhibitions.

In terms of maintenance and effective operation of Korean galleries abroad, the role of museum curatorial staff is of the utmost importance, but unfortunately there are so few curators at overseas museums who specialize in Korean art. To address this problem, the Foundation inaugurated a workshop program for overseas curators in 1999. This year? workshop will focus on a theme of Korean ceramic art. Some 20 curators will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge about Korean ceramics as well as to exchange information about and ideas on the development of their Korean art galleries.
Other tasks for this year include assistance for various Korea-related cultural education programs at overseas museums and new projects designed to establish a firm identity for Korean art galleries.


Active Promotion of Korean Culture

The Foundation will be organizing a ?orean Traditional Music Workshop for Overseas Musico-logists?in cooperation with the National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts for professors and doctoral candidates who teach Korean music in foreign universities or intend to do so. In particular, the workshop is designed to provide systematic teaching of Korean music theory and practical training experience with traditional instruments.

A more active promotion of Korean culture will be undertaken through touring programs on various aspects of Korean culture to be held at four overseas venues this year. The programs will be centered on lectures, exhibitions, and demonstrations in the fields of traditional clothing, Korean ceramics, and traditional papercraft that encourages participation from the audience.


More Diverse Performances and Exhibitions

The 22 performances and exhibitions planned for this year include a touring exhibition of contemporary Korean art, an exhibition on the ?eauty of the Joseon Dynasty,?a Korean contemporary ceramics exhibition, a Southeast Asian tour by a traditional performance troupe, a joint Korea-France contemporary dance performance, an Eastern Europe concert tour by a traditional chamber music troupe, and a joint Korea-Austria orchestral performance. These performances and exhibitions will represent a balance in terms of content and genre, covering traditional and contemporary, Korean and Western, dance and music. The Foundation will also support the participation of Korean troupes in international events such as New Zealand's Asian Festival and the Cervantino Festival in Mexico, while expanding opportunities for the introduction and exchange of Korean culture overseas. Especially, the three joint performances --Korea-Austria orchestral concert, Korea-France contemporary dance performance, Korea-South America music concert -- will go beyond perfunctory displays in an effort to realize more meaningful cultural exchange worldwide.



Publication and Reference Materials Team

By Song Jung-sok, Director (jssong@kf.or.kr)




With the creation of the Fellowship Program Team for support of individual scholars, the Publication and Translation Program Team has been renamed the Publication and Reference Materials Team. This year we will continue to publish the Foundation? regular publications on Korean culture and art (KOREANA), and current affairs (Korea Focus) while pursuing some new projects as well.



Resumption of Spanish Edition of KOREANA

The Spanish-language edition of KOREANA, which began in 1990 but was suspended in 1998, will be resumed this year. KOREANA, a quarterly magazine that features information on Korea? traditional and contemporary culture and arts, is well received overseas. The resumption of the Spanish edition will serve as a valuable reference material for the study and understanding of Korea in Spanish-speaking countries.



Publication of Books on Korean Culture

With 2001 designated as Visit Korea Year and the upcoming World Cup in 2002, the number of foreigners visiting Korea will increase noticeably. In order to help these visitors gain a better understanding of Korea, the Foundation has initiated two new projects.

The first is the publication of an English dictionary on Korean food. The dictionary serves as a comprehensive guide to Korean food and food culture and provides standardized English expressions for the widely varying terms used to describe Korean food to help foreigners realize greater enjoyment from Korean cuisine. In addition, the Fo-undation plans to provide support for the publication of guidebooks to Korean cultural treasures and cultural sites in various languages to help promote a clearer understanding and appreciation of Korean art and culture.