- December 17th: "The Role of the Citizen in the Korean Ubiquitous Society Vision" as a part of The World of Civil Societies lecture series at University of Jyväskylä Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy
- Feb-Mar, 2009: "Suomalaisuuden myytit ja symboliikka: kansakunnan kulttuurista tarkastelua [= The Myths and Symbolism of Finnishness: Cultural Analysis of a Nation]," lecture series at University of Tampere School of Modern Languages and Translation Studies
- February 11th, 2009: "Korean Media Culture" as a part of the Transnational Asian Media Cultures lecture series of University of Tampere Department of Journalism and Mass Communication
Plus I'm the examiner of Indian Studies (part of Intercultural Studies) at the University of Jyväskylä Department of Communication and Language and Communication in East and Southeast Asia by the Finnish National University Network for East and Southeast Asian Studies.
As this is my first post in this blog, I will go on to tell about my current research activities. As a sidenote I'm happy to say that working as a post-doctoral researcher in my department has been surprisingly research-oriented. I have had enough time to concentrate on research, excluding odd cases as a lecturer.
At the moment I am working on a book chapter about the future of school in Korean ubiquitous society (read abstract here). South Korea is one of the leading IT societies of the world and has firm plans to create u-Korea, and education is, obviously, an essential part of that vision. I'm not so much writing about the tech stuff or about teaching methods per se as trying to imagine a future Neo-Confucian Korean society filled with technology and how the combination would affect the culture or the whole meaning of teaching/education.
I'm almost done with the draft and will post it here for potential comments on December 10th at the latest. Roberto Muffoletto, the editor of the volume (going with the name Breaking the Classroom Walls), has given the writers the liberty to use their imagination, so I'm glad to do something a little bit different from strict academic writing.
After exploring future Korea I'm hoping to have the time to write a manuscript for the new Journal of Global Mass Communication special issue: Media, globalization and the postcolony. I'm not exactly sure what I will write about, but I think it will have something to do with the symbolism of Japan and Korea relations, involving the rhetoric describing the colonial past.
After the New Year I will sort of continue on the same theme and start typing away a conference paper (see abstract) focusing on Dokdo, a small island in the East Sea or Sea of Japan. The Korean ownership of the island is disputed by Japan which has caused a lot of political turmoil and exchange of spicy rhetoric between the media and governments of the two countries. My plan is to study how Dokdo is used in Korean cyberspace to reconstruct Korean history and national identity for international audience.
As for the plans for spring 2009, I'm hoping to write about ubiquitous society visions, global trends in new media and, time willing, co-edit a volume about Korean new media. I'm also waiting to see my article (co-authored with Marika Paaso) titled "Finns Making Sense of Korean Hierarchy" published in the Journal of Migration and Society and a chapter titled "Keeping in Touch" (about Korean youth and their mobile comm. culture) in an edited volume published by Finnish Youth Research Society.
You can see a selected compilation of my published research here.