Monday, September 9, 2013

Showing my Face in Korean Academia

Friday there was a special one day conference that I decided to attend. Most of my academic friends tend to complain about conferences in Korea, but the subject seemed interesting enough that I decided to go. I also wanted to just jump in and get my renewed presence in Korea known to those who do somewhat similar research. Among the attendees, including discussants and moderators of panels (but none of the presenters) were three major scholars that I already knew: Seo Hanbeom (emeritus professor of Korean music, Dankook University), Yi Byeongok (emeritus professor anthropology and Korean dance, Yongin University), and Kim Yeong-un (Korean music professor at Hanyang University).

The entire conference was about the family of Shim Jeongsun, a noted performer of multiple genres who lived from 1873-1937. The general thrust of the conference was that Shim and his descendants should be much better known in Korean performing arts scholarship. Various papers illuminated this point in different ways. The most animated presenter, No Jaemyeong, presented about Shim's son Shim Sanggeon, a performer of Gayageum Sanjo and Gayageum Byeongchang with many early recordings.

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