Since its establishment in 1972, the Center for Korean Studies at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, the first of its kind outside Korea, has pursued its founding vision of developing and promoting Korean studies abroad. An educational, research, and informational hub for Korean studies in the United States, the Center has served as a support system for students, faculty and the Hawai'i community, providing ready access to Korea and its people, past and present. Geographically situated at a strategic point, the Center also has played a key role in bringing scholars, intellectual leaders, writers, artists, performers, and political officials together in a vibrant forum for discourse on a wide variety of Korea-related topics and issues. The Center's deep commitment and continuous service over the past thirty-eight years have made it proud of its position as the veritable flagship center for Korean studies, nationally and internationally.
The Center will celebrate its fortieth anniversary in 2012. Approaching this milestone in its history, the Center is now challenged to re-envision its mission, direction, and aspirations. It has the task of renewing its commitment to its original mandate even as it reformulates its agenda and refines its programs and activities to keep abreast of developments in the rapidly changing global context of the twenty-first century—all with the goal of ensuring that the Center continues to grow as a venue where future generations of Koreanists are produced and nurtured.
As a step in this direction, the Center is currently revitalizing its faculty reinforcement program, its Critical Issues in Korean Studies Forum, its international scholarly conference sponsorship, colloquium series, and faculty seminar, its visiting scholar program and its publications, such as the journal Korean Studies and the Hawai'i Studies on Korea book series.
Moreover, as the Center moves ahead it will seek to reinforce its programs, such as its contemporary Korean film series, that aim to respond to the needs and concerns of the Korean community in Hawai'i, especially at the grass-roots level. The Center will endeavor to meet their expectations in an informed, enlightening, and energizing manner.
On behalf of the Center and its faculty, I invite members of the Korean studies community at large to join with us as partners in our collective drive to turn these aspirations into reality and thereby share the success and sense of fulfillment in enhancing and strengthening Korean studies in this age of globalization.
The Center for Korean Studies