Director's Message

Director's welcome

Welcome to the Institute for Korean Studies (IKS) at Indiana University Bloomington!

IKS honors the memory of IU Vice President Emeritus Patrick O'Meara. We are grateful for his service on the IKS advisory board from 2016 until his passing. His contributions to the Institute are deeply appreciated. 

IKS would also like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Sung-Un Yang, a professor at The Media School and our new advisory board member. We are looking forward to working with him and the other board members in the coming year. 

The Institute was established in spring 2016, with the generous support of the Korea Foundation, IU Korean Alumni, and the University. The Institute promotes Korean studies—including instruction, research, and outreach. IKS is housed within the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and is affiliated with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the East Asian Studies Center.  IKS’s mission is to advance interdisciplinary approaches to the understanding of Korea at Indiana University and beyond.

IKS is the recipient of a five-year Core University Program grant from the Academy of Korean Studies for its project, “Establishing Korean Studies in America’s Heartland: Social Science, Policy, and Cultural Fluency.” Under this rubric, we have been working diligently to promote Korean Studies at Indiana University and across the Midwest at our four partner institutions -- Purdue University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Louisville.

IKS has coordinated with the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in order to expand the Korean Studies faculty at IU, by hiring Dr. Susan Hwang (Korean Literature and Cultural Studies) in 2016 and Dr. Russell Burge (Modern Korean History) who will join us in fall 2021. We have revitalized the MA program in Korean studies. We recruited one new MA student in 2018, three in 2019, and two in 2020. Our first new MA student graduated in June 2020, and we will have five MA students this fall.

Our undergraduate program has been expanding rapidly with the language classes adding students exponentially. We hold a well-attended annual Korean speech contest for IU language learners. We have joined with the George Washington University to establish the GWU-IU Research Exchange Program which provides five undergraduate students a year with an opportunity to conduct, write-up and present a research project at a joint conference in the spring semester. In the coming academic year, we will be participating in a second collaboration with the George Washington University’s Institute for Korean Studies to hold a Korean literature essay contest.

Despite the covid-19 pandemic, IKS will continue to provide programs that are intellectually stimulating and exciting throughout the upcoming academic year. Please join us.