[LECTURE] 2016 March Lecture: "A Tale of Two Cities: Seoul as the Byzantium of the 21st Century"작성일   2016-02-26

A Tale of Two Cities: Seoul as the Byzantium of the 21st Century

Lecturer: Emanuel Yi Pastreich

Associate Professor, College of International Studies, Kyung Hee University,

Director of the Asia Institute

Seoul has emerged at the center of a new economic and cultural order in East Asia and this massive city is increasingly making its presence felt around the world through its music, art, fashion and movies. Could it be that Seoul is becoming the dominant political and cultural center of Asia while remaining closely tied to the United States?  Seoul’s rise brings to mind the relationship between Rome and Byzantium in another age.

This talk considers the competing cultural identities of Seoul: Gangnam (South of the river) whose brash spirit is embodied in Psy’s hit song and Gangbuk (North of the River) a subtle urban space of tight-knit urban communities. How has the tension between these two cultures stimulated cultural production in Seoul and driven the cities evolution even from its founding in the late fourteenth century? What are the prospects for Seoul's cultural future?

Emanuel Yi Pastreich is director of the Asia Institute in Seoul and associate professor at the College International Studies of Kyung Hee University. His current research is divided between his work on technology and its impact on society and the impact of the Chinese literary tradition in Korea and Japan. Pastreich studied the classical literatures of China, Japan and Korea, producing two important books on Korean and Japanese classical novels. He has taken a strong interest on the writings of Park Jiwon over the last decade, translating ten of his novels into English. Pastreich founded the Asia Institute in 2007, a think tank that coordinates research between experts in Asia and the rest of the world on the intersection of technology, the environment and international relations.

Pastreich has written articles about the environment, technology, globalization, international relations and business in Asia for such journals as Japan Focus, Foreign Policy in Focus & the Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies. He has published six books: The Novels of Park Jiwon: Translation of Overlook Worlds (Seoul National University Press)& The Observable Mundane: Vernacular Chinese and the Emergence of a Discourse on Popular Narrative in Edo Japan (Seoul National University Press)& Selected Publications of the Asia Institute (Asia Institute Press) in English & . Record of a Robinson Crusoe in Korea: Life is a Matter of Direction, not Speed (Nomad Books), International Experts talk about Korea (Dasan Books) and Another Republic of Korea of which only Koreans are Ignorant (21st Century Books) in Korean.





Education room (1st floor), Seoul Museum of History

55 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Date and Time

March 21st, 2016 (Mon)

11:30 A.M. to 13:00 P.M



Lunch Fee (optional)

10,000 Won (Sandwich & drink)

* Reservation for lunch is required.

* Donation receipt can be issued.

* Wire transfer to KEB a/c#631-000503-181 (YÉOL) or at the venue in cash

Contact (Registration required)


T: 02-745-5878

F: 02-736-5878