In 1988, the Center for Korean Research was established within the East Asian Institute, now theWeatherhead East Asian Institute, with the support of the Korean Committee for the Promotion of Korean Studies at Columbia University and continued to expand with the generous support of Myoung- Soo Shin, POSCO TJ Park Foundation, the Korea Foundation, and Columbia University Alumni Association of Korea.
In cooperation with other organizations from inside and outside the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, the Center has sponsored visiting scholars and research associates as well as cultural events such as movies and concerts, monthly Contemporary Korean Affairs Seminars, and noon lecture series on Korea-related topics.
Since 1995 the Center has also sponsored annual research conferences on Korea-specific topics of major theoretical and practical significance. Conference proceedings have been or will be published as edited volumes under the auspices of the Center, including North Korean Foreign Relations in the Post-Cold War Era (Oxford, 1998) Korea’s Globalization (Cambridge, 2000) and Civil Society and Democracy in Korea (Routledge, 2002).
In addition to its own independent projects, the Center has worked in cooperation with the Weatherhead East Asian Institute as a whole, the Columbia Business School, the Columbia Law School, and other institutions at Columbia and in the New York City area to sponsor research seminars, talks, workshops, and conferences on Korea-related topics.
Among the most important goals pursued by the Center has been the expansion of Korean instructional resources in history, political science/international relations, sociology, anthropology, business, economics, and literature. Visiting Professors from Korea affiliated with the institute have included Dr. Sung-joo Han, Dr. Sang-jin Han, Dr. Roy Kim, and others, who have offered a variety of courses at Columbia in their specific fields.
Since 1997 the Center has sponsored two to three Visiting Fellows in Korean Studies per year to carry out his or her research as well as teach two courses in his or her area of interest. Visiting Fellows have come from the fields of economics, communications, and literature.