[KS] Two farewells
Stephen.Epstein at vuw.ac.nz
Sun Jul 24 22:52:56 EDT 2011
As will have been apparent to long-time readers of the list, Korean Studies Review has not been active for close to three years now, and the time has now come to close things up officially. Robert Fouser had originally intended to take over as editor but as a result of a variety of personal circumstances that was delayed, and he is now occupied with a much larger and more important fight: trying to preserve what little remains of traditional Korean hanok architecture in the central neighborhoods of Seoul and will not have time to revive things.
But it has also become apparent in the last three years with significant developments in online internet journal access and the proliferation of social media that the need for a central online review venue for Korean Studies material has perhaps passed. Reviews that are already in place will continue to be available at the same URLs as they have been all of these years via <http://koreaweb.ws/ks/ksr/>. As you'll see, however, it all has quite an old-fashioned look at this point and would be really in need of an overhaul. Our print partner Acta Koreana remains committed to taking the few book reviews that are outstanding, so those few reviewers who still owe KSR reviews should contact Michael Finch at <mcefinch at gmail.com> to arrange publication. If there is anybody particularly keen at reviving KSR in some reconstituted form in the future, do feel free to contact either Bob or me.
While I am here, I also have a far, far sadder requiem to announce to members of the list, and those with long-standing experience of Korea. Many of you will remember David Kosofsky, who taught English at the Hanguk University of Foreign Studies from 1982-2000, and would occasionally make contributions here. David was not a Koreanist, per se, but he did have a few publications on Korea from an applied linguistics perspective such as "Exploring Korean culture through Korean English" which appeared in Korea Journal in 1990, and two books, Common Problems in Korean English and Language from the Body. He was also perhaps the single most brilliant, insightful and original commentator I ever encountered on matters of Korean society, and I learned as much from him about Korea as anyone else I have known--not to mention all sorts of general arcane and central insights about life. Like his late sister Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, whose work Epistemology of the Closet is perhaps the classic text of Queer Studies, David struck out on an iconoclastic intellectual journey in his life that invigorated anyone who ever had the opportunity to meet him. Earlier this month, after a full day of kayaking with a friend, David was feeling unwell, lay down on the dock and had a massive heart attack, one day short of his 58th birthday. I console myself, to the extent that I can, that he went out after a good day in the physical activity that he most enjoyed in the world. He leaves behind his wife Songmin, his 13-year-old son, Noam with whom he shared a relationship as close as any father and son could hope to have, and a number of close friends who already deeply miss his incredible wit and his one-of-a-kind take on life. The world has lost a genuine original.
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