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Learning Through the Screen: The BESETO Lecture "East Asian Media Studies"

  • June 26, 2012
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Monday, May 7, 2012 at 2 p.m. at the Multimedia Building (Bldg.83). In front of the classroom were two big screens each showing a classroom - one from Peking University and the other from Tokyo University. Peking University, the University of Tokyo, and Seoul National University were to discuss today's topic,"Tien (天, Chinese character for 'sky') Thought".

What has just been described above is the scene of the graduate school lecture titled"East Asian Media Studies". The lecture on this day was led by Professor WANG Yihong of Peking University. Professor Wang introduced"Tien" thought of China while comparatively analyzing China, Japan, and Korea's religions and cultures.

BESETO Lecture This unique lecture was established as a joint commitment between the SNU Asia Research Institute, the Department of Communications of SNU, and the Korea Foundation, in response to the Korea Foundation's KF Global e-School project initiative. The"KF Global e-School" initiative was launched in 2011, and combines real-time online video lectures on Korean studies with offline programs—such as workshops and seminars—through cooperation between universities in Korea and abroad, in order to promote Korean-related studies worldwide. Thus, professors and students from Peking University, the University of Tokyo, and Seoul National University participate at the same time by using a Polycom system which involves an Internet video connection.

The"East Asian Media Studies" program is a joint lecture series in which one professor from each university teaches together. Each professor is responsible for three weeks worth of lecturing. The first five weeks of the program are a general introduction to globalization and localization in and from East Asia—the image of East Asians, cultural flows, understanding globalization and localization, and critical reflections on the Korean Wave. The second part of the program,"Connecting Three Campuses", was first led by Professor SONODA Shigato of the University of Tokyo. Professor Sonoda discussed East Asians' images of East Asia, how people from the three countries understand each other, and compared each country's values using the Asia Barometer and the Asia Student Survey. Session 2, led by Professor WANG Yi Hong, explained how East Asian images are formed by content analysis of the East Asia English Newspaper from an intercultural communication perspective. The last session taught by Professor KANG Myungkoo, will deal with understanding the trend of East Asian popular culture such as the Korean TV series ‘drama’ or K-Pop in the context of East Asian modernities and late modernities.

Professor Wang's lecture on this day was led comfortably. Students and professors of each university were able to freely set forth their opinions during the video lecture. After the video lecture ended, discussion started to roll between the students and Professor Kang. The nine graduate students from diverse countries including Korea, China, France, and the Netherlands, all participated in an enthusiastic debate.

KWON Mi ran, a graduate student in the Department of Communications, shared that"Having three professors is surprisingly, a plus factor. There's lots to learn because we can hear different opinions about the same topic." From the same graduate school, Eva, from France, added:"At first due to technical difficulties the Internet lecture system felt inconvenient. But now that we've gotten used to the system, it's very interesting that we can take the same class with students from three different countries."

The"East Asian Media Studies" lecture series was first established in 2008 between the University of Tokyo and Seoul National University. Peking University joined the partnership this year. The lecture will continue until the semester ends in June, while in the meantime the professors from each university will visit each other's universities to meet the students in person. Professor Sonoda already visited SNU on April 16, and Professor Kang will visit the University of Tokyo and Peking University on May 28 and June 11 respectively. Beseto lectures are lectures jointly taught between the Universities in Beijing (Be), Seoul (Se), and Tokyo (To). Other Beseto lectures and symposiums have been progressed since 2007.

Written By LEE Bo Young, SNU English Editor,
Proofread by Brett Johnson, SNU English Editor,
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