American Professor's Korean Culture WebsiteRobert J. Fouser, 38,an American professor at the Univerisity of Kumamoto, Japan has launched a comprehensive English website on Korean Studies at 'yuldo.net.'
"Yuldo" is the name of the mythic kingdom that appears at the end of "The Tale of Hong Kildong (Hong Kildong chon)." On the Yuldo site, some 120 weblinks on Korean Studies, Korean art, film, literature, and language are a mouse-click away with 'Korea.net' and the AKSE (Association for Korean Studies in Europe) also listed in addiition to the homepages of some of Korea's more popular writers.
As to why he set up the site, Prof. Fouser says, "There is a special attraction in all things Korean, especially people and culture. I can't stop thinking about Korea." Fouser first visited Korea in 1992, when he was 26 years old. He started teaching English at Korea University in Seoul after studying English pedagogy at the Universities of Michigan and Japan.
Since 1997, Fouser has been teaching in Japan but continues to visit Korea on a regular basis. Some visits were for seminars but mostly for his own interests, like interviewing Korean artists. One time, Fouser followed and interviewed film director Chang Yun-hyon ('Contact,' 1997) to a film location in Northern Cholla Province. But not every attempt was successful. Fouser discovered "Women in Public Baths," a collection of photos and tried to interview the photographer Park Hwa-ya but in the end, could not meet the artist.
Fouser has published about 30 critical writings on Korean culture in journals both inside and outside of Korea. Some of his writings cover topics on Paik Nam-jun and Korean Contemporary Art and include article titles like "Comparative Studies on Korean and Japanese Internet Culture," and " Studies on Korean Writers in Japan." These papers are soon to be translated and published in Korea.
by Shin Yong-ho