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Fall 2013


 Friday, August 30, 4 p.m.
Humanities 1049, AAAS Dept. Seminar Room

Charles Muller
Professor, University of Tokyo, Japan
"Right View (/samyak-dṛṣṭi/) and Correct Faith (/śraddhā/):
Distinction and Re-merging in Mahāyāna Buddhism"

As a religious tradition, Buddhism is distinctively epistemological in its articulation of the causes of human suffering and in the solutions it offers. The most fundamental problem in Buddhism is that of nescience (/avidyā/), manifested in such forms as the clinging to a constructed self, along with numberless derivative problems. Therefore the matter of mentally constructed frameworks (/dṛṣṭi/) is central to Buddhist soteriological discourse. At the same time, the notion of faith (/śraddhā/), which in other religions tends strongly in the emotional/devotional direction, is in Mahāyāna philosophy of mind, a category intimately related to right view. Mahāyāna Buddhism furthermore contains two distinct levels of discourse regarding right views and correct faith: that which occurs at the conventional (/laukika///saṃvṛti/) level and that which is seen at the transcendent (/lokôttara///paramârtha/) level of discussion. This paper starts out with the discussion of views and belief in the context of secular academic disciplines such as psychology and epistemology, and ends up with the most rarefied view in Zen, a distinctive Buddhist tradition wherein, I argue, right view and correct faith become largely indistinguishable.

A. Charles Muller received his doctorate from the department of Comparative Literature at SUNY Stony Brook in 1993. He is presently Professor in the Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, University of Tokyo. His main work lies in the fields of Korean Buddhism, East Asian Yogâcāra, East Asian classical lexicography, and online scholarly resource development. Among his major book-length works are The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment: Korean Buddhism's Guide to Meditation (SUNY Press, 1999) and Wonhyo's Philosophy of Mind (University of Hawai'i Press, 2012). He has also published over two dozen articles on Korean and East Asian Buddhism. He is the editor and primary translator of three volumes published in the Collected Works of Korean Buddhism, and is the Publication Chairman for the Numata BDK sutra translation project.



Wednesday, September 18, 7 p.m.

Humanities 1006

memories of forgotten war

“Memory of Forgotten War”
Directors: Deann Borshay Liem and Ramsay Liem

MEMORY OF FORGOTTEN WAR conveys the human costs of military conflict through deeply personal accounts of the Korean War (1950-53) by four Korean-American survivors. Their stories take audiences through the trajectory of the war, from extensive bombing campaigns, to day-to-day struggle for survival and separation from family members across the DMZ. Decades later, each person reunites with relatives in North Korea, conveying beyond words the meaning of family loss. These stories belie the notion that war ends when the guns are silenced and foreshadow the future of countless others displaced by ongoing military conflict today. (


Wednesday, September 25, 4 p.m.
Lecture Hall I, Wang Center

Christine Hong
Assistant Professor in the Literature Department at UC Santa Cruz
“The Mirror of North Korean Human Rights: Technologies of Liberation, Technologies of War”

Christine Hong is an assistant professor in the Literature Department at UC Santa Cruz.  She received her PhD from UC Berkeley and is at work on a book project titled “Blurring the Color Line: Racial Fictions, Militarized Humanity, and the Pax Americana in the Pacific Rim” that examines the historic relation of post-1945 Afro-Asian human rights literature to the Pax Americana, the U.S. military "peace" that restructured the Asia Pacific following Japan’s Pacific War defeat.  She is an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute, a coordinating committee member of the National Campaign to End the Korean War, a steering committee member of the Alliance of Scholars Concerned about Korea, and a member of the Working Group on Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific.



Thursday, October 3, 7 p.m.

The Wang Center Theatre at Stony Brook University


"The Taming of the Shrew"
by William Shakespeare

Presented by E.D.P. (Dept. of English, Soon Chun Hyang University, S. Korea) ∙ World Tour 2013 ∙ Seoul (2006, 2010), Tokyo & Nagoya (2008), Edinburgh (2010), Singapore (2011), New York & Boston (2013) ∙ Ticket - Free ∙ Running Time - 1 Hour




Wednesday, October 9, 4 p.m.
Lecture Hall II, Wang Center

Suzy Kim
Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at Rutgers University
“Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950”

everyday life in the north korean revolution

Suzy Kim is Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian Languages & Cultures at Rutgers University. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago. Her current research focuses on North Korea’s social and cultural history. Her book “Everyday Life in the North Korean Revolution, 1945-1950” was just published in August 2013 by Cornell University Press. Her teaching and research interests focus on Korea, with particular attention to gender studies, oral history, and social theory.



Wednesday, October 16, 7 p.m.

Humanities 1006

“Grandmother’s Flower”
Director: Jeong-Hyun Mun

grandmother's flowerWhen director Mun accidentally discovered the diaries of his late granduncle, who was mentally ill, he unexpectedly learned about his family's secret history. The small mountain village in South Jeolla Province where Mun's family lived, was nursing the wounds from conflicts of class, ideology as well as from the displacement of family members in South and North Korea, and even in Japan. It turned out that the history of his family contained all the tragedies of modern Korean history, a history he had only known through textbooks. This interesting documentary investigates a complex history linking the repercussions of Japanese colonialism and the Korean War to the director's family memories. (



Tuesday, October 22, 4 p.m.

Lecture Hall I, Wang Center

Dai Sil Kim
Award-winning author and documentary filmmaker
“People Are the Sky: North Korea”

Born in northern Korea when it was under Japanese colonial rule, Dai Sil Kim-Gibson came to the United States in 1962 to pursue graduate studies. She received her Ph.D. in religion from Boston University, and taught at Mount Holyoke College, which was followed by her career as a federal and state government employee: senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities and director of the media program of the New York State Council on the Arts.

She resigned from the New York State Council on the Arts to pursue a film career in 1988, going on to make an array of award-winning films. Sa-I-Gu (3/4" video, 36 minutes), or “April 29,” about the 1992 Los Angeles crisis from the perspectives of Korean woman shopkeepers, was praised by theWashington Post as “a passionate point of view piece.” A Forgotten People: The Sakhalin Koreans (16 mm, 59 minutes), her film about the forced Korean laborers on Sakhalin island, victims of World War II and the Cold War, was called “a bracing reminder of the human victims in the global chess game played by superpowers” by the Los Angeles TimesSilence Broken: Korean Comfort Women, a powerful documentary about Korean womenforced into sexual servitude by the Japanese Imperial Military during World War II, was called "a wrenching and formally inventive film," by the Village Voice,"A hauntingly brilliant film,” by the Asian Week, Los Angeles.Wet Sand: Voices from LA (2004) explores the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles civil unrest and has been shown at numerous festivals in the United States and abroad. Her most recent film, Motherland (Cuba Korea USA), had a sold out world premiere at the 11th Pusan International Film Festival in October, 2006 and other festivals. It is currently distributed by Women Make Movies in New York City. In addition, she produced and wrote America Becoming,a feature documentary, and Olivia's Story,a 14-minute drama, which Charles Burnett directed.

All of her documentaries, including America Becoming, were nationally broadcast on PBS, distributed worldwide, and garnered many awards. Olivia's Story was cablecast on the Sundance Channel in 2001, and was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival.

An author of numerous articles, Silence Broken: Korean Comfort Women is her first book (“unforgettable,” the Philadelphia Inquirer). She published her second book, Looking for Don: A Meditation, in January 2012. She has compiled and annotated her husband’s solo memoir, Iowa Sky: A Memoir (2013). Her own memoir, Korean Sky will follow after completing the NK film. She also has plans to write and produce, Shoulder Friends, her life story with her husband, as a feature drama with a much respected and loved African American director/writer, Charles Burnett.



Wednesday, October 30, 7 p.m.

Humanities 1006

“Forgotten Warriors”
Director: Kim Jin Yoel

forgotten warriorsA fascinating documentary about one of the little known legacies of the Korean War (1950-53), FORGOTTEN WARRIORS tells the stories of women guerilla fighters for North Korea who were captured, held for many years in South Korean jails - then released. Remaking their lives, assessing their past - and still socialist at the core, this film profiles the characters and lives of these amazing women. (




Wednesday, November 6, 4 p.m.
Lecture Hall I, Wang Center

George Katsiaficas
Professor of Humanities at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston
“The Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington DC”

korean war veterans memorialGeorge Katsiaficas is a Professor of Humanities at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He is a long-time activist, whose writings include books on the global uprising of 1968 and European social movements. Together with Kathleen Cleaver, he edited Liberation, Imagination and the Black Panther Party. He recently completed a two-volume book, Asia’s Unknown Uprisings, dealing with popular occupations of public space in Asia in the 1980s and 1990s. Vol. 1 focuses on South Korean social movements in the 20th Century. His web site is:



Wednesday, December 4, 4 p.m.

Lecture Hall I, Wang Center                          

Ronda Hauben

Award-winning journalist and researcher

"The Media War at the UN and the DPRK: Why Netizen Journalism Matters"

Ronda Hauben is a journalist and a researcher. She covers the United Nations and UN related issues on her blog at, "Netizen Journalism and the New News". Her articles exposing the political nature of the US government blacklisting of the Banco Delta Asia led to her being shortlisted for one of the prizes awarded by the United Nations Correspondents Association at the United Nations in 2007. 

In 2008 she was the recipient of the Silver, Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize for Excellence in Journalism in written media (including online media) for her coverage of the UN and its agencies. She has covered the UN since 2006 as a resident correspondent, first for OhmyNews International, and more recently for, the online web site for Die Tageszeitung newspaper. Her articles have appeared in a number of other web sites or publications including Global Times (China), Global Research (Canada), The 4th Media (China),and Hankyoreh (ROK-English online edition).

Ronda Hauben has given invited talks in Europe, North America, Africa, China and the ROK. She is co-author with Michael Hauben of the book “Netizens: On the History and Impact of the Usenet and the Internet.” The book is a pioneering study of the history and social impact of the Internet. A print edition of Netizens appeared in 1997 in English and also in Japanese. The book was put online in 1994.

She is interested in the impact the Internet and netizens can make in transforming our society. In her blog she focuses on the potential of the Net and netizens to make possible a new, more inclusive and more accurate form of journalism, which she calls “netizen journalism."




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