Live from Korea

Free Summer Course Series on Korean History, Economics, International Relations, and Culture

June 21, 2022, 8:00 AM to July 26, 2022, 8:00 AM KST
Online Location, US time for each session is 7:00 - 8:30 pm ET; Korea time is 8:00 am - 9:30 am

In celebration of George Mason University’s 50th Anniversary, OLLI Mason is pleased to collaborate with George Mason University’s Korea Campus to provide this international interactive course series.

Course Schedule

Four Decades of Change in Korea
Tuesday, June 21 | 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Register here

This session will be about Korea’s transformation from a “recipient country” as exemplified in programs like Peace Corps to a “donor country” as exemplified in Korea’s own version of Peace Corps, KOICA, and Korea’s emergence internationally as a known quantity in popular culture. This session will be based on the instructor’s own experience.

Suzanna Samstag Oh serves as senior advisor to the chairman of Daesung Group. Prior to that, Suzanna ran a cultural institute, worked as senior translation editor for the Korean edition of Newsweek and managed the global operations of SamulNori, a traditional Korean percussion ensemble. She has also served on the Presidential Commission on Nation Branding and has advised the Ministry of Justice and the Bureau of Cultural Properties.

The Miracle of the Han River and Beyond
Tuesday, June 28 | 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Register here

This lecture provides an overview of Korea’s remarkable economic development since the early 1960s. After the Korean War, South Korea has transformed in the past decades from an agriculture-based economy to one of the world’s most dynamic industrial economies, with an average annual growth rate of 7.3% and per capita income reaching $27,000 in 2015.

Dr. Moon Joon Kim is an assistant professor of Economics at George Mason University Korea, and he received his PhD in Economics from North Carolina State University. His fields of specialization are environmental economics, health economics, energy economics, and applied microeconometrics, with research primarily focused at the intersections of these.

Inter-Korea Relations and North Korea
Tuesday, July 5 |7:00 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Register here

The current status of Korea invites many questions: How did North Korea avoid the domino-like collapse of communism of 1989? Why can’t the two Koreas find the peace and reconciliation to be reunified? Why does North Korea want to possess nuclear weapons? What would be the most ideal approach towards North Korea to facilitate change? Addressing these questions, this session will trace the historical and political developments of the two Koreas.

Soyoung Kwon is currently a professor of Global Affairs and director of Security Policy Studies-Korea at George Mason University Korea. She also serves as associate fellow at the Yonsei Institute of Unification Studies of Yonsei University, Korea. Dr. Kwon received M.Phil and Ph.D. degrees in political science from the University of Cambridge.

Korean Unification: Resolving the Unresolvable Protracted Social Conflict
Tuesday, July 12 | 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Register here

The Korean War and the continued division of the Korean Peninsula was the first real test of the past Cold War and the struggle between communism and democracy (East and West). The lecture will try and promote alternative ways to transform the relationship between north and south, to resolve the conflict in order for peaceful unification to occur. 

Roland Wilson is currently the program coordinator and professor for the Conflict Analysis and Resolution Program, and the founder and co-director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Center Asia (PACSC Asia) at George Mason University Korea. Dr. Wilson received his PhD from George Mason University.

Making Korean Cuisine
Tuesday, July 19 | 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Register here

Korean food has recently gained a lot of attention for its many fermented dishes and seasonal ingredients and is considered very healthy among many. This lecture aims to provide a deeper understanding of South Korea by introducing the most important parts of everyday South Korean life, which is the Korean food culture. The instructors will demonstrate how to make some of the most common home-cooked meals.

Hyang Lee is currently a professor of Modern and Classical Languages at George Mason University Korea. She has over 20 years of experience teaching Korean language and culture to international students at universities in Korea and at international organizations.

Eunkyung Park is an instructor of Modern and Classical Languages at George Mason University Korea. She has over 14 years of experience teaching Korean language and culture to international students at universities in Korea, Thailand, and Germany.

Between Cultural Hybridization and Appropriation: The Meaning of “K” in K-Pop
Tuesday, July 26 | 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. ET
Register here

K-Pop began as local Korean popular music in the late 1990’s, became a global popular music genre in East Asia in the early 2000’s, and then popular outside East Asia in the early 2010’s. Especially after the big success of BTS and other bands in the late 2010’s, K-Pop is considered one of the hottest rising musical genres in the world.

Dr. Gyu Tag Lee earned his doctorate in Cultural Studies from George Mason University in 2013 and has been teaching at George Mason University Korea since 2014. He is an expert on popular music, media studies, globalization of culture, and especially, K-Pop.

Add this event to your calendar