The Nordic Korean Studies Days 2022

During the mid-semester week of 7-11 March, twelve Helsinki students travelled to Copenhagen to participate in the Nordic Korean Studies Days, a week-long intensive Korean Studies course. Funded by Nordplus, the NKSD is jointly organized by Korean Studies teaching faculty, and sees the participation of both BA and MA-level students from the Nordic universities of Helsinki, Turku, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo. The first NKSD was organized in 2019. Owing to the pandemic, in 2021 we ran an online semester-long module-based version of the course. March 2022 was thus the second fully on-site version of the course.

Travelling students and teachers stayed at the Dan Hostel, the name of which, incidentally, evokes association with the paramount figure of Korean mythology, Dangun (Tan’gun – traditionally known as the founder of the first state of Korean history, Old Joseon / Old Chosŏn)! Hosted at the University of Copenhagen, the daily schedule comprised a programme of online breakfast and lunchtime talks, morning workshops and afternoon trainings.

Each workshop focused on research of the Nordic teachers. In the first half students and teachers worked in groups discussing the article and in the second half we convened for Q&A with the author. Rather than simply listening to a presentation, this method ensured we were all prepped and ‘activated’ before engaging in Q&A. From Monday to Thursday the workshops covered fields of modern history, North Korean literature, South Korean politics, and anthropology, while on Friday we held a student-organized roundtable on “studying and working in Korea”.

For the afternoon training sessions students could sign up to one of two tracks: a Model United Nations simulation (MOU) focused on Northeast Asia; or a transmedia-storytelling computer game development project.

Andrew Logie, Assistant Professor in Korean Studies