By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
An academic discussion on hallyu and its broader geopolitical implications will be held on Feb. 16 at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in the United States.
Jason Lim, the event organizer and a mid-career public administration student at Harvard, said "Hallyu in Asia: A Dialogue" is the first forum held at Harvard to discuss the spread of Korean pop culture and its effects.
"There are a lot of hallyu events, but this will not just discuss pop culture. This will place hallyu in international relations and on a political level", he told The Korea Times. "Hallyu is a representative example of how constructivism theory in international relations is shaping up. It's the formation of a mutual identity through sharing of common, cultural norms".
Lim said the Korean wave is influencing political relations between South Korea and Japan. An example is that the first official event attended by Japan's first lady, Akie Abe, was the premiere of "Winter Sonata
, the Musical" in Tokyo. The musical is an adaptation of the Korean drama "Winter Sonata
", which has gained fame abroad.
"That's an obvious signal to Korean people who are worried about the nationalistic path of (Japanese Prime Minister) Shinzo Abe", he said.
Entertainment mogul Park Jin-young
and TV personality Park Jung-sook will give the main presentations during the event.
will give his insights on K-pop and his personal experiences as a top entertainer, music producer and businessman.
He is a K-pop singer and producer who eventually founded JYP Entertainment. He is also a mentor to K-pop superstar Rain
, who is planning to try to conquer the U.S. market. He is the first Asian producer to establish a record label in the U.S. and has already collaborated with top artists such as Will Smith, Lil' Kim and OutKast.
Park Jeong-sook, who has been described as Korea's Katie Couric, will give an academic presentation on the importance of hallyu in international relations. She will discuss hallyu's role as a medium of cross-cultural communication that can create common norms and significantly affect East Asian relations.
She has a unique perspective on hallyu, given her experience as an actress, academic and media professional. She has been a host of Korean morning programs for 10 years but is best known for her role as the queen in the hit drama "Jewel in the Palace" ("Dae Jang Geum
She has conducted research on cross-cultural communication and international relations at Keio University in Japan and Columbia University in the United States. She is currently studying at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
The Harvard Korea Institute, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and International Negotiation Club are sponsoring the forum.
The academic panelists include David R. McCann, director of the Harvard Korea Institute; Eileen Chow, assistant professor of Chinese literary and cultural studies at Harvard; David Leheny, associate professor in the department of political science at University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Ian Condry, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.