April 4, 2011

Hyungi Hong
The (Unending) Korean War Conference
t: 917.941.7234 /

National Gathering to Include Keynote Speech by author Bruce Cumings, Special Film Screenings of ‘In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee,’ ‘Tiger Spirit,’ and Korean American Art Exhibit Still Present Pasts

April 4, 2011, New York, NY – The (Unending) Korean War Conference today announced its event programming line for the national gathering focused on examining the transnational impact of the Korean War and its current implications. The event is being presented by a unique collaboration of organizations including Third World Newsreel (TWN), New York University Asian/Pacific/American Institute and Department of East Asian Studies, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development and the Korea Policy Institute, with support from the New York Council for the Humanities.

“During the past year, the Korean peninsula has burst into headlines in increasingly grave scenarios – making this an opportune time to examine this conflict,” said conference organizer Henry Em, Assoc. Professor at NYU. “Our collaborators made the timely decision to sponsor this event in order to inform and humanize the legacy of this continued state of war” said co-organizer JT Takagi of Third World Newsreel.

June 2011 will mark the 61st Anniversary of the Korean War (1950-1953) that was temporarily halted by an armistice. A permanent peace process including a peace treaty to end the Korean War has yet to be established. The Korean peninsula remains in an ongoing state of conflict with millions of Korean families separated by the division.

The [Unending} Korean War conference is being held at New York University from April 22-23, 2011. Conference organizers anticipate a diverse audience of scholars, community leaders, filmmakers, artists and students from throughout the United States.

“The Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU is committed to promoting discourse on the spectrum of issues that shape and define Asian/Pacific American communities,” said A/P/A Institute Director, John Kuo Wei Tchen. “We are pleased to support this event as it will advance academic understanding and encourage new scholarly capital on this evolving area of study.”

The conference will feature a keynote speech by Bruce Cumings, who has published numerous books on Korea, and whose latest book, “The Korean War: A History” was just released last year.

“Recent events on the Korean peninsula remind us of how the Korean War continues to influence military, political, economic and social forces that range across Northeast Asia,” said acclaimed author and University of Chicago Professor Bruce Cumings. “It is of paramount importance for scholars, policymakers and community leaders to work together in finding new solutions to reinforce Korean peace and regional stability.”

The conference will feature new scholarship focused on the Korean War’s impact on culture and life in the Koreas, the United States and China. A panel on the current situation is scheduled to analyze recent hostilities on the Korean peninsula and efforts aimed at engagement and dialogue.

Additionally, the conference will display Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the “Forgotten War.” The multi-media art exhibit features installation and performance art, documentary film and archival images, and oral histories that explore memories and legacies of the Korean War. Local contributing artists include Grace M. Cho, Sukjong Hong, Hosu Kim, Hyun Lee, Yul-san Liem and Injoo Whang. The exhibit, curated by Yul-san Liem, will open prior to the conference on April 7, 2011, and will remain on display at New York University for the general public until May 13, 2011.

“Among the many aspects of the Korean War that have been silenced or forgotten are the experiences of ordinary people who survived the fighting and harbor its legacies to this day,” said Still Present Pasts Project Director, Ramsay Liem. “The art in this exhibit fills this void, embodying the voices of Korean American war survivors and their family members, and inviting visitors to participate in expanding a collective memory of the Korean War and a vision for reconciliation and peace.”

Special film screenings will also be screened during the conference that explore themes tied to the Korean armed conflict. Third World Newsreel will present Grandmother’s Flower (Jeong Hyun Mun) and Tiger Spirit (Min Sook Lee). The documentary In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee and the short Memories of a Forgotten War will be screened on the first night of the conference, April 22nd, followed by a special Q&A session with the film directors Deann Borshay Liem and Ramsay Liem (co-director of the short).

“I am pleased to screen my documentary films at this important conference,” said the award winning Korean American filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem. “It is my hope the Korean War can be understood not just as an armed conflict, but also as a historic event that impacted the lives of countless Korean families and their children. I hope these films can lend a more nuanced picture of how Korean people today still live with the scars of war.”

The series of conference events are free and open to the public. Space is limited and NYU requires conference attendees to RSVP in advance for each scheduled event. To register for scheduled events, please call 212.992.9653, and for more information, visit:

About The (Unending) Korean War Conference
The (Unending) Korean War is from April 22-23, 2011 and includes an academic conference, art exhibit, panel discussions and a series of film screenings that examine the Korean War, and the ways in which it has reconfigured memory, political economies, knowledge and culture on both sides of the Pacific, leaving legacies of uprootedness and unending conflict.
The (Unending) Korean War conference is co-sponsored by NYU Dept. of History, NYU Humanities Initiative Grants-in-Aid; NYU Office of International Students & Scholars, and the NYU Center for Multicultural Education & Programs, Additional support is provided by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs; the New York State Council on the Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Ford Foundation; the North Star Fund and; the Funding Exchange.

About Third World Newsreel
Third World Newsreel one of America’s oldest alternative media centers that distributes, produces and trains, focusing on media by and about people of color and social justice issues.

About NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute
The NYU Asian/Pacific/American Institute aims to promote discourse on Asian/Pacific America, works to dispel socio-cultural and political misconceptions, provide cultural and scholarly connections, and encourage innovative research and interdisciplinary exploration.

About Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development is a community organization that seeks to bridge divisions among Koreans and to empower the community to address injustices and social change.

About Korea Policy Institute
The Korea Policy Institute is an independent research and educational institute providing analysis of United States policies toward Korea and developments on the Korean peninsula.