The James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) invites graduate students to join us at the 2nd KSYS Graduate Student Conference, which will take place on March 11–12 (half-day), 2022 at Penn as an international and multi-disciplinary conference. The theme of the 2nd-year conference is “Endeavors of Decentralization in Korea.” This conference is open to graduate students from all academic disciplines (Anthropology, Communication, Cultural Studies, Economics, History, Literature, Political Science and Sociology, among others) with an interest in Korea.

We are especially interested in projects that critically engage with various norms and sites of power in fields related to Korea. Potential topics may include but are not limited to:

· Diversity in race, language, and culture

· Deinstitutionalization of family

· Heteronormativity in gender and sexuality

· Multi-focality in film and media

·  Arts and performances of resistance and deviation

· Diversity in human developmental pathways

·  Emerging complexities in economics and politics

·  Multiplicity of religion and spirituality

·  Diverse responses to pandemic and crisis

This conference will provide great opportunities for young scholars studying Korea to receive constructive feedback from tenured faculty mentors in various academic disciplines.

The conference will consist of several regular sessions and professional development workshops. At the regular sessions, each participant is asked to prepare a presentation of 15-20 minutes, which will be followed by comments by an invited discussant. A few faculty members both at and outside of the University of Pennsylvania will participate as discussants. During the professional development workshops, students will receive guidance/advice from faculty about navigating graduate school and academia in Korean Studies and related fields. 

Applicants should submit their application by November 19, 2021, using this Google Form (, which requires contact information, affiliation, an abstract (500700 words) and a short biography (max. 150 words). Accommodation and dining during the conference will be provided for participating presenters. All presenters should attend all sessions including professional development workshops on both March 11 and 12 (half-day). All sessions will be held in person and there will be an optional reception dinner on March 10, but these are subject to change depending on COVID-19 situations.



Proposals due: November 19, 2021

Notification of acceptance: December 3, 2021

Acceptance response due: December 17, 2021

Full papers due: February 18, 2022

Conference date: March 11 (Fri) – March 12 (Sat, half-day), 2022


Conference Organizers

Yoonbin Cho (Comparative literature & literary theory)

Soo Gyeong Ju (Interdisciplinary studies in human development)

Eunsun Lee (Educational linguistics)

Sangsoo Lee (Sociology)


This conference is supported by the James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies. If you have any questions, please contact