Tag Archives: interviews

Interview: Korean Studies Editor Christopher J. Bae

Korean Studies: A Multidisciplinary Journal on Korea and Koreans Abroad celebrates its 25th year in 2017. With that milestone also comes new leadership with editor-in-chief Christopher J. Bae of our very own University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Read more about his background and goals for the annual publication in our interview below. You may also preview early release articles from the forthcoming volume or browse archives of the journal on Project MUSE.

Christopher J. Bae, an UH Mānoa professor of anthropology and the new editor of Korean Studies, is shown here at an excavation site in Korea.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your new role as editor of Korean Studies.

I am a full professor in the UH Mānoa Department of Anthropology, and I specialize in the field of Asian paleoanthropology (human evolutionary studies.) I particularly focus on early human sites and materials in Korea, China, and Japan, and have recently started to investigate setting up similar research projects in Southeast Asia. So the connection for me with Korean Studies is that one of my core areas of focus is Korea, as I have worked there for the past quarter century collaborating on a diversity of projects related primarily to Korean prehistory.

The invitation to take over the editorship of the journal actually came as a surprise to me as the previous editor(s) have been doing a fine job managing the journal. That being said, I was honored to be invited to take on the role of editor of the journal as it is one of the oldest and most prestigious Korean studies focused journals outside of Korea.

How has Korean Studies evolved over the years?

Korean Studies was started by the Center for Korean Studies at UH Mānoa in 1977. It is a journal that is published annually and we will publish our forty-first volume this year. The main goal of the journal has always been to publish original research on Korean studies from humanities and social science perspectives. That goal has not changed since its inception. One minor change perhaps may be that we have become more open to publishing conference proceedings in the journal. For instance, in Vol. 37 (2013), we included a special section titled “Urban Cultural Landscapes of Colonial Korea, 1920s-1930s” that featured papers from a two-day conference held at the Center for Korean Studies at UH Mānoa in February 2012.

Have you learned anything interesting from your first months as editor?

Probably the most interesting aspect that I have learned since taking over the editorship is how broad Korean studies really is. I personally am learning a great deal about the different fields and how they contribute to the broader picture of Korean studies generally. Korean Studies is serving to broaden my own horizons in this area and from that perspective I really enjoy serving in this role.

In your field, what issues are particularly relevant right now? 

North Korean politics is probably one of the hottest topics within Korean studies right now. As such, one of the first decisions I made after taking over the editorship was to invite Victor D. Cha, currently one of the most prominent U.S.-based specialists on North Korea, to contribute an article to Korean Studies. Cha’s piece “Informal Empire: The Origins of the U.S.–ROK Alliance and the 1953 Mutual Defense Treaty Negotiations” will appear in Vol. 41. I anticipate Cha’s paper should be well-received and well-cited.

Do you have any advice for academics interested in submitting to your journal?

We are open to submissions on any topic related to Korean studies. But if an author is not sure whether his/her manuscript may be suitable for our journal, they should contact the editor directly.

We have new Author Guidelines posted online (click here). It would help any potential authors to make sure their manuscripts follow the Author Guidelines closely before submitting their manuscripts.

What’s next for Korean Studies?

Since taking over the journal, I have started to make a number of changes. In particular, the journal now has formal Author Guidelines and a “News and Comments” section where authors may comment on previously-published works either in our journal or elsewhere. We are also moving to an online submission system, which should be up and running by the end of the year, if not sooner.

Because Korean Studies is such a broad area journal we will continue to be open to publishing manuscripts from various disciplines that cover Korean studies. But one area I see us publishing more on moving forward is the growing area of Korean-American or simply “Koreans abroad” types of research. For instance, studies on Korean immigrant history to places like the Americas, Europe, or Australia/New Zealand are particularly interesting. “Race” relations and how Koreans have assimilated/acclimated to new environments are also highly pertinent, especially given that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the famous Rodney King Riots in Los Angeles, California.


Korean Studies Vol 40 cover

About the Journal

Korean Studies, edited at the University of Hawai‘i Center for Korean Studies, seeks to further scholarship on Korea by providing a forum for discourse on timely subjects, and addresses a variety of scholarly topics through interdisciplinary and multicultural articles, book reviews, and essays in the humanities and social sciences. All scholarly articles on Korea and the Korean community abroad are welcomed, including topics of interest to the specialist and nonspecialist alike.

Subscriptions

Individual and institutional subscriptions available through UH Press.

Interview: Palapala Editor Jeffrey “Kapali” Lyon

Palapala: a journal for Hawaiian language and literature, launched in spring 2017, is the first peer-reviewed Hawaiian language journal to be published exclusively online. Here, editor Jeffrey “Kapali” Lyon discusses how the journal came together and what it means for Hawaiian research.

Jeffrey “Kapali” Lyon, editor of the new journal Palapala

Tell us how Palapala came together.

I had discussed the idea of a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to Hawaiian language scholarship for several years both in Hilo and Mānoa, and found that nearly all scholars of Hawaiian and Hawaiian literature wanted to see it happen. Many of us were distressed that there was no journal dedicated to such an important subject and that, in order to publish our new work, we had to send our research to journals all around the world, none of which were aimed at scholars who work mostly in Hawaiian. During my second year at Mānoa, about 2011 I think, John Charlot, Bob Stauffer, and I were at dinner, and had a serious discussion on what could be done to move ahead, including choosing a board and a publisher. We agreed that we should try to get one representative from each of the University of Hawai’i colleges where Hawaiian plays an important role, and one representative from outside of the university of Hawai’i system. Once our editorial board was in place, we solicited contributions and met with UH Press representatives who enthusiastically supported the idea of an academic journal dedicated to Hawaiian language and literature.

What makes this issue historic, in terms of Hawaiian scholarship?

Hawaiian is a world-class literature that has received scant attention outside, and often inside, of Hawaiʻi. It is time to change that perception. Also, the Hawaiian language is the medium of one of the worldʻs largest indigenous literatures. It deserves the attention of scholars, particularly now that it is again recognized as an official language of Hawaiʻi. The good news is that we are making history, the bad news is that Hawaiian and Hawaiian literature ever fell into obscurity. We hope that with the coming of this journal, we can help create a shift in its scholarly status today.

Papalala is open-access, meaning anyone can read it for free online. How do you see Palapala being used in the world?

We are now part of the search-engine world. Those interested in Hawaiʻi will be able to find academically credible, peer-reviewed work written by accomplished scholars on a host of subjects centered around Hawaiian language and literature. This is, I believe, far better than printing a few hundred paper copies found in the reference sections of research libraries. We will also produce printed copies of Palapala, but the search-engine is the driving force today behind both simple curiosity and determined digging.

What did you learn about the Hawaiian language from putting this issue together?

What I really learned in this process was how little has been published about Hawaiian and Hawaiian literature in comparison to how much of that literature has been preserved. Each article demonstrates, in its own way, that we are at the beginning of the voyage and that there is so much to learn, so much work to be done on history, word meanings, printing texts, analyzing genres, customs, comparisons with other Polynesian cultures …. I could go on.

Charles Langlas’ article is a case in point. Here we are, nearly two hundred years after Hawaiians began to write about their own culture, and we are only now seeing the first scholarly investigation of when the Hawaiian day began. People living in traditional Hawaiian culture were equipped in ways we scarcely understand today to deal with the world around them, both material and unseen: trees, plants, medicines, sprits, fishing, genealogies, and centuries of oral literature, to name only a few, all preserved using an exact terminology, much of which is not well known to us today. A young adult, or in many cases, even young children of 150 years ago, would make many of us working in Hawaiian today feel foolish and ignorant. They, their ancestors, and many of their descendants possessed linguistic and cultural knowledge far beyond that of any university scholar working in this field, some of which, however, can still be relearned through the study of the language and the literature found in their newspapers, letters, and recordings. In short, I am once again, reminded of how little I know, and how much I still hope to learn.

Anything else we should know?

Palapala prints articles in Hawaiian, English, and, if we can find peer reviewers, other languages. Other than the articles themselves, everything, including article summaries, is printed in Hawaiian accompanied by an English translation.

I believe that literature written in Hawaiian is one of the great, neglected, treasures of world literature. Those who produced this literature, for centuries as oral tradition, and later, since the 1830’s, in newspapers, books, and letters, were trained to express themselves in a reflective, exhilarating eloquence as worthy of the world’s attention as those that are now commonly available to every reader. I would like to see the story of Halemano, one of the world’s great short stories, be as well-known one day as that of Gilgamesh, Oedipus, or the stories of Kafka, and to see university students at Harvard, Oxford, and Munich, have the opportunity to learn to read Hawaiian literature in Hawaiian.

Lastly, here in Hawai’i, I hope that Palapala will contribute to more people committing themselves to speak, read, and write Hawaiian. It is a lei whose fragrance never fades.

Special Event: Learn more at Palapala‘s panel at this weekend’s Hawai‘i Book & Music Festival, 1:00pm Sunday, May 7, 2017. Details: http://hawaiibookandmusicfestival.com/schedule/


PalapalaAbout the Journal

Palapala publishes scholarly, refereed articles on the full range of topics in the field of Hawaiian language. The entirety of Palapala volume 1, issue 1, which includes contemporary research in both Hawaiian and English, is available for free through UH library’s ScholarSpace.

Submissions

All submissions and editorial inquiries should be addressed to Kapali Lyon, Editor, at palapala@hawaii.edu.