Fulbright Forum

Fulbright Forum - April 10, 2014 - Lauren Glover

All that Glitters is Not Gold: Bronze and Stone in the Three Kingdoms Period Lauren Glover, PhD Candidate, The University of Wisconsin-Madison Fulbright Junior Researcher During the Three Kingdoms period (300-668AD), various regions in South Korea were divided into several kingdoms, each with their own unique decorative style, but also involved in heavy trade with each other, China, and Japan. This time period is extremely important because within it classical aspects of Korean culture were established that influenced later social, political and ideological developments, such as the use of bronze for rituals. Bronze and stone ornaments, especially in the form of jade, were important items to the elites of these kingdoms and were used for both displays of wealth and legitimacy, and for the ideological rituals required to maintain control in both the physical and spiritual world. Elites continued to use bronze and stone even when more economical, practical and prestigious options were available such as gold, iron and glass. This suggests that the materials themselves had significance to Three Kingdoms period people which could not be fully divorced from mundane issues. I am especially interested in tracing the manufacture and use of gokuk 곡옥(curved beads) during this period since they were used specifically by elites in unique displays of wealth, power, and ideology. My research objective is to use a combination of new and traditional analysis to learn the “biography” of an artifact from raw material to final deposition. I utilize an XRF (X-Ray fluorescence) scanner on both bronze and stone to determine a rough composition of the artifact. The compositions are used both in lead isotope analysis and in determining the origin of the stone artifacts. An extremely new method of lead isotope analysis called EDTA (Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid) solution analysis is also being utilized. All other methods of lead isotope analysis require harming the artifact so using this method has allowed me to analyze artifacts which would otherwise not be examined. The results of the lead isotope analysis will be compared to lead isotope ratios across East Asia to determine where the copper in the bronzes was coming from. I use silicon impression material to take impressions of the holes in the ornaments (usually beads). Those impressions will eventually be scanned with an SEM (scanning electron microscope) to determine what type of drill was used and if there is any wear on the inside of the hole. Until then, I use a digital microscope, a scanner, and my own measurements of the beads to look for patterns in manufacturing methods and style in the hopes of identifying specific groups of people or workshops that were dealing with creating these ornaments. I also hope to use the data from this project to replicate artifacts in the future in order to learn more about the manufacturing process.


Fulbright Forum - March 28, 2014 - Adam Glassman

Traditions through Change: The Role of Performance in Modern Society South Korea stands as a country where digital billboards and cutting edge technology exist side by side with an emerging break dancing movement, a massive market for Broadway productions and ancient shamanic rituals. Whereas many nations stamp out such parts of society in an attempt to become "modern," South Korea has taken a unique path, where performance and face to face interaction remains an everyday part of society. In my project I work, train and, at times, live with these dancers, performers and shaman (called "Mudang") to learn what the role of the performer is in South Korean society and why performance has remained so integral to Korean life. I will recount my experiences of staying and living with Mudang, training with K-pop choreographers, and interviews with arts administrators from different parts of Seoul. By taking a broad and immersive approach to the project, I can draw similarities and recurring themes that define the way performance and live action define South Korean life. In turn, I hope to take these lessons and training methods back to the United States to create a new method of training and a new style of performance. Basing many of my new ideas off of the shamanic "Kut" (Korean mudang rituals), I hope to discover how live performance does more for us than entertain, and further define the true role and need to the performer in modern society.


Fulbright Forum - Jan 17, 2014 - Phillip Kong

A Water-Soluble Extract from Actinidia arguta Manifests Its Effects on Helper T Cell Differentiation and Macrophage Activation Abstract Actinida arguta is a type of hardy kiwi native to Japan, Korea, and some parts of China and Siberia. Few reports have indicated that consumption of Actinida arguta improved allergic diseases, such as asthma and atopic dermatitis. This project aims at uncovering the immunological roles of PG102, a water-soluble extract of Actinida arguta. The results show that PG102 has various functions in T cells and macrophages. PG102 upregulates regulatory T-cells, while Type 1 and Type 2 helper T cells are downregulated. PG102 exerts a completely different type of function in macrophages, inducing the activation of alternatively activated macrophages and favoring anti-oxidative responses. These findings accentuate the potential of PG102 being an agent for treating allergic diseases. Further characterization of PG102 in immunological aspects offers a novel way to efficiently mitigate the severity of allergic diseases by consumption of the naturally derived product.


Fulbright Forum - May 24, 2013 - Joanne Cho

Cultural and Social Influences on South Korea’s Suicide Epidemic Research Summary: South Korea is a country unlike any other, having gone through extremely rapid economic, social and political changes at a speed never before seen in history. Education, technology and economy in particular have flourished, making South Korea among the wealthiest, most educated and technologically advanced countries in the world. However, cultural and social attitudes and beliefs have not been able to match the speed of modernization, giving birth to a multitude of social problems that have risen as a result. Among these, suicide in particular has increased at alarming rates in recent years, particularly among the younger population, resulting in South Korea now having one of the highest rates in the world. In order to understand this problem, one must begin by developing a strong understanding of the economic, historical, social, and most importantly, cultural influences behind South Korea’s suicide epidemic. Upon arriving in Seoul, Joanne began collaborating with professors from various universities throughout Korea in departments ranging from public health and cultural anthropology to clinical and social psychology. With their guidance, she started interviewing study participants as well as professionals currently conducting research on suicide in South Korea. Through these interviews and her own individual studies into Korea’s history, society and culture, Joanne began establishing a groundwork understanding of the issues surrounding suicide. She has been focusing in particular on how cultural and historical influences have shaped modern Korean society, and how these in turn affect social and familial relationships as well as attitudes regarding mental health. In addition, she has been studying the hypercompetitive educational and employment systems which have become a major source of stress and pressure in Korea today. Joanne hopes to come up with a two level solution to the suicide issue: one that can be implemented at the policy level, and a micro level solution that can be employed by individuals.


Fulbright Forum - March 8, 2013 - Andrew Arnold

Emerging Engaged Buddhism in South Korea Andrew Arnold will present on the recent emergence of “Engaged Buddhism” in Korea. In a creative research endeavor, Andrew will use the medium of film to portray his research on the movement here in Korea. Starting with the work of Vietnamese monk and peace activist Thích Nhất Hạnh, a new wave of Engaged Buddhism has inspired Buddhist monastics to take more socially and environmentally active roles in communities across Asia. Despite their long history of seclusion and remote religious practice in the mountains, Korean Buddhist monks and nuns have begun to follow this worldwide trend, reentering the political and social arena to stand up for the moral and ethical precepts of their religion. Due to its particularly strong institution in Korea, Korean Buddhism has become a focal point of Engaged Buddhism.
 At the forefront of this movement in Korea, three monastics have taken leadership in different aspects of society; Jiyul sunim, Dobeop sunim, and Pomnyun sunim. Each of these individuals approached their environmental and social activism differently, yet all three adhere to their traditional Buddhists beliefs, speaking to a new dynamic in the relationships between society, politics, and religion in Korea today. Andrew Arnold is recording his investigation through the creation of a documentary composed of various interviews and dialogues with various members and organizations within the Korean Buddhist community. Using this lens, Andrew examines the actions of these prominent individuals through their words and will share his understanding of their work.