Korean Studies Colloquium
Thursday, January 25, 2024 - 12:00pm

John P. DiMoia

Professor of Korean History

Seoul National University

3600 Market Street, Suite 310 Philadelphia, PA 19104

Optional Zoom registration HERE

This paper looks at the historiography for the origins of Korean ODA (Official Development Assistance) in the early 1960s, situating it amidst emerging post-colonial nations, specifically with new partners and colleagues in Africa and Southeast Asia. In contrast to the miracle narratives proclaimed for the Korean economy at about this same time, this account appears much more modest, arguing that the earliest Korean aid actions sought diplomatic recognition, legitimacy, and a measure of control. The institution placed in charge of this activity as of 1965, or KODCO, also held an image very different from today's KOICA, acting as a state labor agency on behalf of private interests. 

John P. DiMoia is Professor of Korean History at Seoul National University (SNU), and is also affiliated with STS (Science, Technology, Society). He is the author of Reconstructing Bodies (Stanford UP, 2013 / WEAI), and one of the co-editors of Engineering Asia (Bloomsbury, 2018 / WEAI) along with Profs. Hiromi Mizuno and Aaron Moore. He has held fellowships and visiting affiliations with the Needham Institute (NRI) at Cambridge University (UK), Kyujanggak Institute of Korean Studies (SNU, ROK), Asia Research Institute (NUS, SG), Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG, Germany), UCLA (CKS), and FAU (Friedrich Alexander University, Germany).