Vladimir Tikhonov

Reappraising Korea’s ‘Socialist Century’

Vladimir Tikhonov speaks on socialism in KoreaOslo University Professor Vladimir Tikhonov (Pak Noja) will survey the influence of socialism on Korea in the 11th Forum on Critical Issues in Korean Studies Thursday, October 3, 2019. Professor Tikhonov's lecture, titled “Korea's Socialist Century: A Reappraisal,” will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Center for Korean Studies auditorium.

Socialism in the Korean context usually suggests images of North Korea, one of the few states claiming to continue the twentieth century’s state socialist tradition. But the influence of socialism since 1918 (when the first Korean socialist group was formed), Tikhonov says, is by no means limited to North Korean experiences. He points out that in the colonial period (1910–1945), many of the Korean intelligentsia’s basic epistemological assumptions were shaped by Marxist ideas. Many of these assumptions survive, to a certain degree, even in today’s South Korea, a model neo-liberal state with an anti-Communist past.

In short, socialist/Marxist tradition has played an important role in building both Koreas’ modernity formations during the past century. Professor Tikhonov will offer a reappraisal of this role and some additional thoughts on the relevance of Leftist thought for Korea in the time of worldwide neoliberal crisis.

Vladimir Tikhonov is a professor in the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo in Norway. He earned his Ph.D. in Korean history at Moscow State University and is a naturalized citizen of the Republic of Korea.

Tikhonov is the author or co-author of some forty monographs and eighty-five academic articles. His research and writing center on the history of Kaya and Silla, the history of Korean Buddhism, early modern ideology and worldview, Social Darwinism, nationalism, the Korean Communist movement, Korean Marxist thought, and Korean diasporas. He has also been a frequent contributor to periodical publications in South Korea.

The Forum on Critical Issues in Korean Studies was inaugurated in 2010 to bring outstanding scholars from around the world to the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa campus for discussions of important contemporary topics related to Korea. The Forum is free and open to the public.

For further information, including information regarding access for the handicapped, telephone the Center for Korean Studies at (808) 956-7041.

This presentation is supported by the Doo Wook and Helen Nahm Choy Fund. The Center is located at 1881 East-West Road on the UH Mānoa campus. The University of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

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