Peace and Prosperity on the Korean Peninsula -
The Impact of Nationalism

Friday, October 28, 2005
George Mason University (Fairfax Campus), Mason Hall Boardroom

Back to Agenda | Biographies of Participants

Panel 1: Nationalism and Postmodernism
Comparative Analyses: European and Asian Perspectives

John Barclay Burns joined the Religious Studies faculty in 1986. Born and raised in Scotland, he graduated from the universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow, where he specialized in Hebrew Bible, Semitic languages and ancient Near Eastern religions. Research and publications include the text and translation of the Hebrew Bible (Chronicles and Its Synoptic Parallels in Samuel, Kings and Related Biblical Texts, 1998), the Religion of Ancient Israel and the Bible and sexuality (Lot's Wife Looked Back: The Enduring Attractions of Sodom for Biblical Commentators, Journal of Religion and Society, 2002). He teaches courses on the religions of the Middle East and Death, Drama and Fundamentalism in global religions. A closet Egyptologist, his favorite course is Ancient Egyptian Religion. Why should such esoteric interests be part of a conference on nationalism? He is a "sensible" but keen Scottish nationalist and is fascinated by the current rise of nationalism in Europe in response to the expansion of the EU and pressures of globalization. In 2003 he delivered a lecture series on Scottish History at the Smithsonian, "Scotland: The Making of a Nation." He believes that nationalism and globalization may have to learn to live side by side.

Georg G. Iggers is Distinguished Professor Emeritus (Department of History) at State University of New York, Buffalo. Born in Hamburg, Germany, Prof. Iggers emigrated with his parents to the U.S. in 1938. He received his B.A. from the University of Richmond, his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Prof. Iggers is author or editor of nearly two dozen scholarly works on German and European intellectual, social, and political history. Three of his books have been translated in Korean: The German Conception of History, New Directions in European Historiography, and Historiography in the Twentieth Century. Prof. Iggers has lectured in Seoul National University, Sogang University, and most recently in June 2005 at Hanyang University.

Jacqueline Pak (Visiting Professor, University of Pennsylvania)
As a fourth and 1.5 generation Korean-American, she is an academic and activist. She has written a controversial biography, The Founding Father: Ahn Changho and the Origins of Korean Democracy, Stanford University Press, forthcoming. A Korean translation will be available as Sarang ui Seosasi: Ahn Changho wa Han’guk minju juui (Epic of Love: Ahn Changho and Korean Democracy). She also edited the volume, Famine or Feast: North and South – Democracy, Division and Diaspora (Korea Briefing, 2002-2005). A recently released book, Christianity in Korea, includes her chapter on “Cradle of the Covenant: Ahn Changho and the Christian Roots of Korean Constitution”, and PBS documentary, Jesus Experience, includes her commentaries on the history of Korean Christianity.

Born in Korea and educated in America and England, she holds a Ph.D. in history from University of London; M.A. in Korean Studies from Harvard University; M.A. in Politics from New York University; and B.A. in Foreign Affairs from University of Virginia. A recipient of Luce, Korea Foundation and Dosan Foundation fellowships, her work experience includes the United Nations, Harvard Business School, Library of Congress and Smithsonian. She earlier taught modern Korean history at UCLA and Princeton University. Currently, her work in progress is The Northerners: Memoir of Korea, as a century-odyssey between Korea and America as a multi-generational memoir of her family members, including the pioneering leaders of the independence and women's movements.

Brian Platt is associate professor of History at George Mason University. After two years at the University of Tokyo, he received his Ph.D. in Japanese history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1998. His field of specialization is early modern and modern Japan. His book, Burning and Building: Schooling and State Formation in Japan, 1750-1890, was published by Harvard University Press in 2004. His current research is on historical consciousness and autobiography in 18th and 19th century Japan.

Panel 2: Nationalism on the Korean Peninsula

John Paden is Clarence Robinson Professor of International Studies in George Mason University (GMU). He earned his B.A./M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University in Political Science. He has been director of GMU's China summer graduate program in International Commerce and Policy and, since 1995, has been founding co-director of the Center for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (CAPEC) in GMU. Dr. Paden has also served as editor of Issues and Perspectives, the journal published by CAPEC. He has worked extensively with Africanist social science scholars in China, including a 15-year term on the Executive Committee of the U.S.-China African Studies Exchange Committee. He has published numerous books dealing with sub-Saharan Africa, including two college textbooks and Religion and Political Culture in Kano, winner of the Herskovits Prize.

Speaker: Korean Nationalism and Security
Kathryn Weathersby is a Senior Associate for the History and Public Policy Project as well as a Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center. Within the History and Public Policy Project, she is the Coordinator for the Korea Initiative, Cold War International History Project. In addition to her work at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, Dr. Weathersby is a Consultant for Historical Documentaries on PBS, CNN, BBC, and NHK TV. In the past she has worked as a lecturer and independent scholar, and was an Assistant Professor of History at Florida State University.

Larry Niksch is a Specialist in Asian Affairs with the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress. Dr. Niksch specializes in U.S. security policy in East Asia and the Western Pacific, internal political conditions of the countries of the region, and foreign policy developments within the region. His reports are published by the Congressional Research Service and congressional committees. Dr. Niksch is a Senior Adviser on East Asia to The PRS (Political Risk Services Group) and is a consultant to Lloyd, Thomas and Ball international business consulting service. He is a member of the editorial board of New Asia, published by the New Asia Research Institute in Seoul, Korea. He received a B.A. in History from Butler University, a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in History from Georgetown University.

Speaker: Korean Nationalism and its Impact on the Korean Economy
Yoon-Shik Park is currently Professor of International Finance at the School of Business of George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He has been teaching at the University for the past 25 years. In addition to George Washington University, he also taught at Georgetown University and Columbia University. In addition to his MBA in finance and MA in economics, Prof. Park has received two doctorate degrees: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) in International Finance from Harvard University and Ph.D in Economics from George Washington University.

Among the many publications are such books as: The Changes in North-East Asian Economic and Political Order and Korea’s Preparations for the 21st Century (Editor, 2004); The Korean Bond Market: Post Asian Crisis and Beyond (2003); Project Financing and International Financial Markets (1999); International Banking and Financial Centers (1989); International Banking in Theory and Practice (1984); Oil Money and the World Economy (1976); and The Eurobond Market: Function and Structure (1974), as well as many articles and reports in the fields of international banking and finance.

Before joining the academia, he had worked for the World Bank as a Senior Economist and then served as the Financial Advisor at the Samsung Group in Korea. Currently, he is a member of the boards of directors of Samsung Corporation, a large Korean company, and the Korea Economic Institute of America, Inc. Dr. Park has been a consultant to the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Agency for International Development (AID), U.S. Federal Reserve, U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Foreign Service Institute of the U.S. State Department, U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other private and public institutions around the world.

Scott Rembrandt is the Director of Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute. He joined KEI in October 2004 after nearly five years in Asia. Prior to joining KEI, Mr. Rembrandt served as a consultant in China and as the Business Manager for the Chief Country Officer Group - Asia for Deutsche Bank.

Panel 3: Nationalism, Culture, and Religion

Elizabeth S Chong was born in and raised in Korea. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (B.S.N. 1975) and received her M.S.N. (1977) and Ph.D. (1981) degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. She first taught at Indiana University where she specialized in graduate courses in Women’s Health. More recently she taught at Rutgers University, in New Jersey. She has been teaching at George Mason University since 1993 continuously. She teaches Women’s Health, ethics at all levels, healing and “Therapeutic Touch”, and research. She has conducted research on Mother-Infant interaction, following groups of Korean and American mothers. She was a Fulbright scholar at Seoul National University (1988-1989) and also taught at Korea University (2000) in Korea. She was chosen as Ten Outstanding Young Women of America (1986) and a White House Fellowship Regional Finalist (1988).

Speaker: Nationalism and Korean Studies
Young Chan Ro was born and grew up in Korea, graduated from Yonsei
University in Korea and Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, VA. He
received his Ph.D. in comparative religion at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He has authored Korean Neo-Confucianism of Yi Yulgok (SUNY) and co-authored Four-Seven Debate: The most famous controversies in Korean Neo-Confucianism (SUNY). He is also the recipient of the 2004 Yulgok Award for scholarly achievements in Korean Confucianism. Currently, he is Chair of Department of Religious Studies at George Mason University. His research areas include Korean Confucianism, comparative and cross-cultural study of religion. He has served as co-chair of Korean Religions Group of American Academy of Religion and is President of the Association of Korean Christian Scholars in North America.

Haeng-Bum Kim is Professor of Public Choice at Pusan National University, South Korea. He earned his B.A. in Public Administration from Pusan National University and his M.A. and Ph.D in Public Administration from Seoul National University in South Korea. His recent books include, Private Wants, Public Means (Korean translation Gordon Tullock's book, 2005), Rent-seeking Costs in the Selection of Public Service Supplier (2004), and Long-Term Efficiency of Rent-seeking Expenditures (2004). He is currently a Visiting Scholar in the Center for Study of Public Choice at George Mason University.

Eun-Hee Shin is assistant professor of Religion at Simpson College. She received her Ph.D from the University of Toronto, Canada. Her current research focuses on cross-cultural and interfaith dialogue, with a strong emphasis on Shamanic traditions. She is particularly interested in the interplay between Korean religions and Christianity. Professor Shin visited North Korea as one of the delegates of Korean Peninsula Peace Group, promoting an inter-cultural dialogue with North Korean State religion called Juche (self-reliance). She has published several articles including Holy Spirit and Ki, North Korea's Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism, and Juche Thought and Communitarianism of North Korea.

Jin-Young Park is Assistant Professor of philosophy and religion at American University. Her research areas include: Buddhist encounter with modernity and postmodernity, Zen Buddhist philosophy of language, and the problem of moral agent and ethics in Zen Buddhism and postmodern thought. She is the editor of the forthcoming volume, Buddhisms and Deconstructions (Rowman & Littlefield 2006) and author of articles including Zen and Zen Philosophy of Language, Zen Hermeneutics via Heideggerian and Derridean Detours, and Gendered Response to Modernity: Kim Iryop and Buddhism.