Editor’s Note: Sino-NK Junior Fellowship—Byul Ryan-im
The world of research can be a rarefied, diffuse place: disconnected from the public sphere on the one hand and from the generative, focused world of the undergraduate on the other. There may be productivity, but it is unclear to what end. And yet, research cannot exist in a vacuum of its own syntactic and intellectual making; it is vital that scholars move forward and connect. In the words of the 17th century poet and playwright John Donne, “No man is an island.”
Going some way toward bridging that gap, Sino-NK today launches a new project of engagement with young academic explorers. This is the “Sino-NK Junior Fellowship.” It is not an internship; rather, it is an exercise in pedagogic interaction, one that invokes participation in the work of Sino-NK and an interactive educational experience for a young scholar. The budding researcher will write with and for us, edit within and around us, co-author and co-present at conferences alongside us, and navigate the backside of our website as one. They will be of us: a stakeholder in our enterprise.
Junior Fellows will be based in the Yongusil (Research Room), and readers will watch on as much of their work emerges in that specific guise. However, one key element of our commitment to any Junior Fellow is the generation and publication of a minimum of one featured essay or longer piece, and so it is that their expertise and energy will surely be felt elsewhere.
Sino-NK is very pleased to welcome our first junior fellow, Byul Ryan-im. Currently reading for a combined honors degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Classics at the University of Durham, Byul is the founder of Durham University North Korean Human Rights Group and a participant in the European Alliance for Human Rights in North Korea. She first appeared on Sino-NK’s radar at the Engage Korea conference, held at Merton College Oxford in April 2013, and her energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to activism and empiricism made an immediate impression. Byul will be a great addition to the Sino-NK team, and is the ideal candidate to open up a new front in the Sino-NK mission.