Northwestern Events Calendar


Noticing Nature in Colonial Korea: Integrative Mapping and Potential Energy through Agricultural Science

When: Thursday, January 12, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM CT

Where: Parkes Hall, 222, 1870 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Cindy Pingry   (847) 491-7980

Group: East Asia Research Forum

Co-Sponsor: History Department

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


The East Asia Research Forum is hosting Albert Park, Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies (Claremont McKenna College)


How was human authority over the non-human world emphasized and strengthened during the Japanese occupation of Korea through the act of noticing? What scientific mechanisms of mediation emerged and altered the rhythms and patterns of nature, especially in conditioning the potential energy of nonhuman life? What is the relationship between science and imperialism in the modern world? This presentation examines the intersection between the modernization of agriculture in colonial Korea, the pathways of science to pacify and reconfigure colonial bodies and landscapes, and the meaning of noticing and destruction on the Korean peninsula. It looks at these themes through a reading of The Suwŏn Agricultural Experiment Station, which was one of the largest agricultural stations in Imperial Japan. In so doing, this presentation explores the relationship between science, authority, and power in the modern world.

About the Speaker:

Albert L. Park is the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies at Claremont McKenna College. As a historian of modern Korea and East Asia, his current research project focuses on the roots of environmentalism in modern Korean history and its relationship to locality and local autonomy. This book project is tentatively titled Imagining Nature and the Creation of Environmental Movements in Modern Korea. He is the author of Building a Heaven on Earth: Religion, Activism and Protest in Japanese Occupied Korea and is the co-editor of Encountering Modernity: Christianity and East Asia. He is also the co-editor of Forces of Nature: New Perspectives on Korean Environments, which also features two of his essays (forthcoming).

Dr. Park is the co-founder and co-director of EnviroLab—a Henry Luce Foundation-funded initiative at the Claremont Colleges ($1.5 million award) that carries out research on environmental issues in Asia through a cross disciplinary lens. He is the co-founder and co-editor of Environments of East Asia—a Cornell University Press, a multidisciplinary book series that covers environmental issues and questions of East Asia. He also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Asian Studies

He is the recipient of four Fulbright Fellowships for Research, an Abe Fellowship (Social Science Research Council and Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership) and fellowships from the Korea Foundation and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. A native of Chicago, he received his B.A. with honors from Northwestern University, an M.A. from Columbia University and a PhD in History from the University of Chicago.  



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