The Department of Global Humanities and Religions (formerly the Department of Liberal Studies) will host the University of British Columbia's Don Baker as its 11th Annual Distinguished Speaker at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 in Science Facility 130 when he will present "The Two Koreas: A Historian’s Perspective on What the Future Holds."
The presentation is free and open to the public.
If we want to make an educated guess about what might happen on the Korean peninsula in the years ahead, we should draw on what has happened to Koreans in the past. Koreans lived under one government for over 1,000 years. Peace and unity, rather than hostility and disunity, is the normal state of the Korean peninsula. On the other hand, after the Korean peninsula was split in half in 1945, the two governments that emerged have been deadly enemies. Sixty-eight years ago they fought against each other in a war that cost millions of lives, and have come to the brink of another war many times since. Can history tell us whether war or peace is more likely in the near future? Professor Baker will draw on his experience observing Koreans and studying Korean history for almost half a century to try to answer that question.
Baker first encountered Korea as a Peace Corps volunteer in the southwestern city of Kwangju in the early 1970s. He earned his doctorate in Korean history at the University of Washington in 1983 and has taught Korean history and culture at the University of British Columbia since 1987. His research focuses on Korea’s religious, philosophical, and scientific traditions.
Co-sponsored by WWU's Center for East Asian Studies and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences