Korean Studies at UAlbany Intensifies with $135,000 Grant
Contact: Vincent Reda, 518-437-4985
Building on its formidable academic strength in the study of the culture
and language of East Asia, the University at Albany has been awarded
a $135,000 grant from the Korea Foundation to establish a new, tenure-track
assistant professorship in Korean Studies within the Department of East
Asian Studies. The position will start in the Fall of 2002.
"This grant will make Korean Studies an integral part of the University's
undergraduate curriculum," said V. Mark Durand, Interim Dean of the
College of Arts and Sciences. "The large Korean-American student population
at UAlbany has for many years supported courses in beginning Korean,
and now this generous grant will strengthen and expand their academic
opportunities well beyond the elementary level."
Susanna Fessler, associate professor and chair of the Department of
East Asian Studies, noted that the timing of the Korea Foundation grant
for UAlbany is ideal. "For one thing, Korea is becoming an economic
world presence," said Fessler. "Consequently, we will be giving students
a competitive advantage in a specialty that is growing in importance.
"Secondly, Korea itself over the past 100 years has been considered
by western scholars as 'the third nation' in East Asian Studies. The
focus was overwhelmingly on China and Japan. But that is changing, and
people are becoming more culturally aware of Korea's distinctiveness.
Said Carlos Santiago, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic
Affairs. "While we are the oldest and largest department devoted to
teaching the languages and cultures of East Asia in the SUNY system,
our significant strengths have been in the areas of China and Japan.
"We see all around us the reasons for bringing Korean studies up to
this high level. Our international student population at UAlbany is
at an all-time high; 65 percent of these students are from Asia, and
a full 20 percent of those from Korea. Our agreements of exchange and
collaboration with Korean universities and fruitful and expanding. In
addition, we have many alumni residing in Korea."
The Korean Studies program at UAlbany began in 1994-95, but until last
year had only a first-year Korean language course - always filled to
capacity; the second year language course was added in 2000-01. The
Korea Grant will add a third year language course, plus classes in the
cultural economic, historical, societal or literary specialty of the
The Korea Foundation grant marks the third successful major faculty
expansion application in the history of the Department of East Asian
Studies, now in its 10th year. In 1992, the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation
awarded the department a three-year grant to establish a faculty position
in Chinese, and in 1994 a similar award was received from the Japan
For more University at Albany information, visit our World Wide Web
site at http://www.Albany.edu.
February 21, 2001
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