Yongusil 35: Qualitative Inquiry from Pyongyang to the Illinois Prairie

By | May 17, 2014 | No Comments

Analysts at Sino-NK, while keenly focused on the China-North Korea borderlands, approach its intersections from pathways that reach into both expected and unanticipated intellectual domains. We see value in academic exchange deriving from the mixing of methods and the meetings of disciplines. That being said, Sherri L. Ter Molen, our outreach and social media coordinator whose territory is communication studies, will be presenting her work at the 10th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, to be held from May 21 through May 24, 2014 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

ICQI (or QI) bills itself as “an alternative site for collaboration and discourse” attracting scholars from around the world and from many academic spheres whose only commonality may be their shared reliance on qualitative research methods such as autoethnography or narrative analysis. Therefore, this annual conclave is a potentially rich site for expanding the boundaries of study, and though its extraordinarily diverse presentations often fall far outside the focus of Sino-NK, there are a few from the realms of Chinese and Korean studies that pique our interest.

In Chinese studies, Shaoying Zhang currently working toward a joint M.Phil/PhD in sociology and social policy at the University of Southampton, will present “Between Policies and the Unintended Consequences–the Role of the Governing and the Governed Communist Officials in China,” and Bin Zhang will present “Interrogating Identity of Nation-state in Globalization: A Critical Analysis of the Anti-China Discourse in the 2012 US American Presidential Debates.” Moving into Korean studies, Soo Mee Kim, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present “Visually Approaching the Notions of Power in a Transnational Urban Space: Koreatown as a Case Study,” and finally, Ter Molen will present the only North Korean studies paper of the conference, “Jurassic Juche: Paradisiacal Parallels between the ‘Dinotopia’ Book Series and North Korea.” North Korean studies and even the larger fields of Chinese and Korean studies are comprised of fairly small circles of scholars and policy experts, so it is good to see Ter Molen and her contemporaries propounding their work among unusual patrons on the Illinois prairie.

The complete program containing these and other lectures on topics ranging from gender identity and pedagogy to conceptualizing the postcolonial can be found on the website of the 10th International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry.

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