Past events

CEAS regularly organizes and hosts visiting lectures, seminars and international conferences. Information about upcoming events are shared on the CEAS website and CEAS' social media channels.  


ZOOM talk with Barbara Wall: Hell Joseon and the Webtoon Sin kwa hamkke, 16 Nov 2020

16-18hrs (EET), 15-17hrs (CET)

Dr. Barbara Wall is Assistant professor at the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, University of Copenhagen.

ZOOM talk with Anders Uhlin: “Civil Society Elites: New Perspectives on Civil Society in Cambodia and Indonesia”, 19 Nov 2020

19.11., 12:00-14:00 (Turku, Helsinki time)/11:00-13:00 (Lund/Stockholm time))

In this guest lecture, I will report from an ongoing research project that explores how and why certain individuals reach leading positions within civil society and what kind of resources they use, gain and lose when they interact with and sometimes move to the state, political, and economic fields, in increasingly authoritarian Cambodia and post-authoritarian Indonesia. To many civil society researchers and practitioners, the notion of a “civil society elite” is a contradiction. I will attempt to demonstrate how an elite perspective can shed new light on internal and external civil society dynamics, highlighting power inequalities within and beyond civil society. Combining two fields of research – civil society studies and elite studies – the project identifies different types of elite formation within civil society and traces interactions and integration with elite groups from political society, economic society, and the state. The project explores how such processes play out in the context of generally shrinking (Cambodia) and relatively expanding (Indonesia) political space for civil society, and analyses the role of foreign funding in processes of elitization. In the lecture, I will elaborate on an analytical framework based in field theory and describe how the project has employed this framework to execute case studies of civil society activists, organizations, and networks operating in the fields of agriculture, youth, natural resources and environment, human rights, and anti-corruption, on national and local levels in Cambodia and Indonesia. I will report preliminary findings that challenge a view of civil society entities as relatively isolated from the state, political and economic society, by revealing power relations that link them.

ZOOM lecture by Aoi Horiuchi: Civil Society Assessment of the Impact of the COVID-19 on Democracy and the Response to COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan – from the SDG 16+ and human rights-based approach, 12 Nov 2020

Time: 12.11, at 9:00-11:00 (Turku/Helsinki time)/16:00-18:00 (Japan time)

Civil society organizations in Japan have responded to COVID-19 both domestically and internationally. They monitored how the government of Japan effectively handled the situation since January 2020, as it is obvious that COVID-19 affected human rights situation and implementation of SDGs. During the presentation, selected SDGs, such as Goal 3 (Health), Goal 5 (Gender) and Goal 16 (Peace and Justice), will be discussed. Goal 16 will be referred as SDG16+, as this is a cross-cutting goal which is an enabler and accelerator of all SDGs, and requires nexus and mainstreaming approach, which are gender, conflict and climate sensitive, and human right-based.

ZOOM talk with So Young Choi: Resilient Peripheralization through Authoritarian Communication Against Energy Democracy in South Korea, 11 Nov 2020

To understand anti-democratic barriers to accomplishing energy democracy, I examine how and why a centralized energy system can maintain itself based on an ethnographic analysis of the local protest of Miryang against the Korea Electric Power Corporation’s construction of a 765,000-volt transmission line. Explaining the element of authoritarian communication in South Korean environmental politics, I highlight the active roles of citizens to contest socio-environmental inequalities as a precondition to building a sustainable energy democracy.

Asian Studies Days: Research and Education during the Pandemic, 6 Nov 2020

Time: 9:30-14:00

Restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have disrupted well-established education and research practices in Asia and elsewhere. International research and education projects have moved online, and scholars in Asian studies have been forced to find alternatives to on-site fieldwork. How have students and scholars adapted to the new situation and what kinds of new practices are emerging? Can we find a silver lining in the pandemic, and how to grasp it? What might the new research methods mean for the production of knowledge in the future.

The programme will be available on this page

ZOOM Lecture by Takeshi Komino: COVID-19 and disaster management challenges in Japan/Asia, 22 Oct 2020

Time: 22.10., 10:00-12:00hrs (Turku/Helsinki time)

Climate change is causing rapid increase in disaster risks, and the world is facing the era of ‘new normal’ with complex mixture of various risks cascading one another.  The webinar aims to cover the recent disaster trends, the evolution of disaster risk reduction frameworks, specific challenges in the region, and how COVID-19 has impacted the way we approach disaster risk management in Japan and wider Asian region.  Furthermore, it will cover the linkages of localization and disaster management, and how knowledge management/sharing and innovation would play a key role in addressing this ‘new normal’.  Last, the webinar will also highlight some of Japan’s recent endeavours in tackling the current increase in disaster risks.

ZOOM seminar with Prof. Liu Jun: Shifting Dynamics of Contention in the Digital Age: Mobile Communication and Politics in China, 29 Oct. 2020

29.10.2020 (Thu), 12-2pm (Finnish time)

Students N.B.: this is a Lecture Passport event.

ZOOM talk with Liora Sarfati "Landscapes of Mass Cooperation in Seoul: from the Sewŏl Disaster to the Corona crisis", 12 May 2020

Time: May 12, 2020 10:00 AM (Finnish time)

Special thanks to Barbara Wall / Korean Studies of the University of Copenhagen for organising the virtual event. 

ZOOM talk with Owen Miller, "North Korea's 'miracle' economy after the Korean War", 30 April 2020

30 April 2020, 10:15-11:45 (Finland time). 

This talk will look at the decade after the end of the Korean War in 1953, when North Korea was recovering from the devastation of war and attempting to build a modern, heavy-industry-centred economy. This period is usually understood as one of rapid economic growth, industrialisation and urbanisation, but it was also inevitably a period of huge social change in the northern half of the Korean peninsula. During the period 1953-1967 North Korea is thought to have achieved average annual growth of 16.6%, leading some, such as the British economist Joan Robinson, to write of a ‘Korean Miracle’. The rapid social change of the postwar period was exemplified most obviously by the explosion of the working class, as approximately two million people (out of a population of 10 million) moved from the countryside to the cities, taking the urbanisation rate from 17.7% to 40% in only seven years.

In this lecture I will explain the main factors that led to North Korea’s rapid growth in the 1950s and early 1960s, including aid from fraternal countries, economic planning, agricultural collectivisation, and large-scale labour mobilisation. I will also look at some of the major social changes that came to North Korea in the 1950s with the rapid proletarianisation of the population, examining such questions as how new industrial workers were made and remade and how gender roles changed as a result. Part of the lecture will illustrate some of these issues by using my own recent research on class formation at the Hŭngnam Fertiliser Complex, one of North Korea’s most important industrial sites since the colonial period and a key focus of the economic reconstruction programme in the 1950s. In the context of this workplace I will examine how the state and factory authorities attempted to impose discipline on new workers and how productivity campaigns were used to instil new attitudes to life and work under harsh working conditions.

WEBINAR for admitted EAST students, 24 April 2020

CEAS hosts a WEBINAR for accepted EAST students on Friday, 24 April at 3pm. Invitations have already been sent out to our prospective students. 

Congratulations to our new students! We can't wait to welcome you all here in Turku!

ZOOM talk with CedarBough T. Saeji, "Making Icons: The Rise of the K-pop Adjacent Industries", 14 April 2020

14 April 2020, 14:15-15:00 (Finland time). 

"Making Icons: The Rise of the K-pop Adjacent Industries", CedarBough T. Saeji, organized by Korean Studies (Barbara Wall) of the University of Copenhagen.

Korean popular music (K-pop) is a musical industry centered on artistic products of idol stars. In tandem with K-pop's success, but beyond those leading entertainment agencies and singers, an entire industry that parasitically feeds off K-pop while also symbiotically amplifying it has emerged. The K-pop industry is now supporting and supported by a multitude of lime-light eschewing and lime-light seeking people who are making a living through various K-pop dependent activities—a secondary yet autonomous industry. New participants in this adjacent/dependent industry support K-pop fandom, and may become secondary stars or in rare cases, penetrate the ranks of the idols. The very publicness of their activities gestures not at a subculture but at a side culture, generating a fascinating and contradictory transcultural practice and dialogue. In this talk I explore the specific issue of the K-pop adjacent industries that are dependent on the same sources of finances—fans and the Korean government—that the industry relies on. I conducted in-person and online interviews with performers, educators, and artists; (1) performers whose desire to be noticed collectively encourages creativity—a weakness of the hegemonic K-pop insiders, (2) educators that deepen fan engagement with K-pop through dance classes, tourism experiences, and educational programs, and (3) artists who produce new unofficial merchandise. In this talk I argue that these industries have become an integral part of interacting with and understanding K-pop today, introducing and enabling personal encounters with K-pop and Korea, and contributing to the growth of the industry.

In these extraordinary times, we want to create new synergies and opportunities for our students. It has never been easier to meet CedarBough T. Saeji, one of the leading international experts on K-pop, traditional music and performance, who is based in the US. 

2020 St Petersburg University Int'l Summer School Modern & Classical Studies of Korea APPLY NOW!

Saint Petersburg University (SPbU), our partner university, organizes an international summer school on modern and classical Korean studies again this year. The school is being organized by the Faculty of Asian and African Studies, the Faculty of Sociology and the Faculty of International Relations with the support of the Academy of Korean Studies.

Dates : 7-9 September 2020

Venue: St Petersburg State University, Faculty of Sociology, St Petersburg

Eligibility : students (BA, MA, PhD levels) majoring in Korean Studies or learning Korean at one of SPbU's partner universities

Working language : English

Major topics : history, language and literature, socio-cultural aspects of the development of Korean society and interaction of Korea and Russia, Korea in the system of international relations and Korea related collections in museums of St Petersburg.

Format: lectures, seminars, workshops, excursions and student activities

Credits : 2-5

Study methods : attendance in all classes, active classroom participation, readings and written assignments.

Terms & conditions : successful applicants will be provided with accommodation (4 nights, 6-9 Sept), round-trip economy class tickets (arrival: 6 Sept, departure : 10 Sept), meals during event, visa support.

How to apply : send (1) short motivation letter, (2) copy of study transcripts, (3) CV and (4) copy of passport (required for invitation letter) by email to Sabine Burghart until 30 March 2020. 

Visiting lecture: Whither Japan? Assessing Abe’s Legacy, Jeff Kingston, 11 Mar 2020

11 March (Wed), 10-12hrs, Pub4

Jeff Kingston, Director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan, is author of Japan (Polity, 2019) and Nationalism in Asia: A History Since 1945 (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016) and editor of Press Freedom in Japan (2017), Asian Nationalism Reconsidered (Routledge, 2015); Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan (Routledge, 2014) and Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after Japan’s 3/11 (Routledge, 2012). He writes regularly for several international dailies.

Research Seminar, 5 Mar: Researching South Korea's global Saemaul Undong programme in Tanzania

Presentation by Sabine Burghart on 5 March 2020 (Thu), 12-14hrs, Pub409

South Korea’s development from an aid recipient to the world’s 12th largest economy and an OECD-DAC member has drawn interest from developing countries, including Tanzania. The South Korean government’s emphasis on a shared development experience, reciprocal gains and non-hierarchical partnerships is largely in line with the constructive discourse of South-South development cooperation. In official aid documents, South Korea emphasises a request-based approach that, at least in theory, guides its cooperation with aid recipients. Notions of self-reliance and self-help efforts imply a certain respect for independent, not pre-determined development choices in partner countries. By emphasizing a new way of providing foreign aid South Korea’s official ODA rhetoric attempts to distinguish itself from the “mainstream”, i.e. traditional (Western) donors.

Japanese speech event for UTU students, 28 Feb 2020

CEAS invites all UTU Japanese language students to participate in the 2020 Japanese Speech event on 28 February.

This event will be held for students of Turku University (including exchange students) at all levels from beginners to (upper-)intermediate and advanced, and is a great opportunity of showing your achievements in Japanese language learning and listening to your fellow students' speeches. The deadline for registration is 7 February (24:00hrs).

Please find more details here.

Research Seminar, 13 Feb: Multiculturalism in a "Homogeneous" Society: Going Beyond Policies

Presentation by Yoko Demelius on 13 Feb 2020, 12-14hrs, Pub368

Research Seminar, 6 Feb: Coping with Peripheralization in the Sea of Japan Rim: Geopolitical Economy of Anticipation

Presentation by Outi Luova on 6 Feb 2020, 12-14hrs, Pub368



Nordic Korean Studies Days in Copenhagen, 11-15 March 2019

The Nordic Korean Studies Days (NKSD) is a five-day intensive Korean Studies course with lectures on topics including (pseudo)historiography, ghost stories, changing dynamics in family as well as politics in South and North Korea. It aims at bringing together students with an interest in Korea and teaching faculty of Nordic universities. The NKSD is generously supported by the Korea Foundation. Participation in the course, together with the required readings and a final presentation and a written research essay will be equivalent to 5 credits.


NAJS 2019: Naming an Era, 23-24 May 2019 

The Fifteenth Conference of the Nordic Association for the Study of Contemporary Japanese Society (NAJS) was held on 23-24 May 2019 at CEAS.

Read more about NAJS 2019.


Studia generalia lecture: ”Suomen ja Japanin 100 vuotta" (in Finnish), 26 August 2019

CEAS together with the unit of Contemporary History (University of Turku) and the Arctic Research Center (Hokkaido University) are organizing a studia generalia lecture at the Turku City Library on Monday 26th August 2019 at 18.00–19.30 in the theme of 100 years of Finnish-Japanese diplomatic relations. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public. Welcome all! Language of the lecture is Finnish. Read more about the event here.


Finland and Japan in the Changing World, 27 August 2019

The year 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan. The seminar Finland and Japan in the Changing World celebrates the occasion by bringing together specialists from different fields to discuss both the shared historical experiences and the future challenges that the two different yet in many ways similar countries encounter in the contemporary world. The seminar is organized by the Centre for East Asian Studies and the Unit of Contemporary History, University of Turku, and supported by the Toshiba International Foundation and the Hokkaido University Europe Office in Helsinki.

Read more about the seminar here.


Seminar "Peace Process and the Future of the Korean Peninsula", 5 September 2019

South Korean President Moon Jae-in entered his third year in office in May this year. Under his administration inter-Korean relations have improved and the South Korean government played a crucial role in brokering the US-DPRK summits. However, the dynamics of the peace process have slowed down. This seminar will address current issues, challenges and prospects of formally ending the Korean War and establishing a peace regime on the Korean peninsula.


Intensive Course: Regional Security in East and Southeast Asia, 11 October 2019

This 2cr course is provided by Docent Markku Salomaa and focuses on China's position in world politics in 2019 (MPAS2172).


Visiting lecture by Duncan McCargo: Trends in Asian Politics: Populism, Electoralism and Authoritarianism, 31 October 2019

This talk examines recent developments in the region, including the rise of Duterte in the Philippines, the 2018 electoral upset in Malaysia, Cambodia’s controversial banning of the political opposition, and Thailand’s controversial 2019 elections. It discusses the interplay between political protests, election campaigns and media events in the era of social media when the rules of the political game are being torn up and rewritten around the globe.

Duncan McCargo is Director of the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, working mainly on the politics of Southeast Asia.


Visiting lecture: Human dimension of Russian-Japanese dialogue in 1990's, 1 Nov 2019

Join the lecture by visiting scholar from St Petersburg University, Dr. Maria Malashevskaya on 1 November 2019 (Fri), 12-14 in Pub150. Her presentation is titled "Human dimension of Russian-Japanese dialogue in 1990's".


Korean Speech Contest 한국어 말하기 대회, 15 November 2019

The Centre for East Asian Studies of the University of Turku invites all students of the Korean language to participate in the 2019 Korean Speech Contest.


Asian Studies Days, "Science policies in Asia", 26 November 2019

Science and University Policies in Asia: How Asian countries are building state capacity and sustainability through science and education. Keynote presentations from Christian Göbel, Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna and Ma. Assunta Caoile-Cuyegkeng, Professor, Director of ASEAN University Network (AUN) Thematic Network on Ecological Education and Culture (AUN-EEC), Ateneo de Manila University, the Philippines.

This year, the goal of the Asian Studies Days is to discuss science and university policies in Asian countries. In addition to recent trends, the topics deal with the prospects and challenges in the implementation of those policies, both in domestic and global context. This event will deepen our understanding of the specific features in the academic environment in Asia: what should we be aware of when pursuing cooperation with Asian actors. The discussions will help to develop realistic and sustainable cooperation with Asian countries in the field of science, education and technology.