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Korean Oral Epics
Thursday, October 2, 2014 - 4:00pm
Korean Oral Epics

PSU Korea Quarterly Program

Lecture about "Korean Oral Epics"
by visiting professor, Dr. KyeungSin Park, University of Ulsan
October 2, 2014
4:00 pm
1825 SW Broadway, Portland  -- View PSU Parking Map >>

Currently there are three kinds of epics in Korean oral literature: shamanist narrative song, Pansori, and narrative folk song. Shamanist narrative songs are sung by shamans in shamanic rituals called Kut. Pansori is a traditional oral form in which a professional singer performs a lengthy poetic narrative with only a single drummer as accompaniment. Narrative folk songs are work songs sung by women while weaving, spinning, and making cloths.

In this lecture Dr. KyeungSin Park will first provide an overview of the Korean oral epics, then discuss how the three kinds of epics are different in terms of their aims, specialties of singers, and artistic levels. He presents an arguement that Korean oral epics are more diverse and abundant than those of other countries, and more importantly, all three kinds of epics are still active in many Korean societies, serving their respective original purposes.

In addition, Dr. Park will show video clips from performances of Korean oral epics. The Song of Chunhyang is the most famous work of Pansori, and Cheseok-ponpuri is a well-known shamanist narrative song. Both Pansori and Gangneung Danoje Festival where Cheseok-ponpuri is performed were inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists in 2008.

About the speaker:

Kyeungsin Park is a professor of Korean Language and Literature at Portland State's Sister University, University of Ulsan, South Korea, where he served as chair of the Department of Korean Language and Literature, dean of the College of Humanities, dean of academic affairs, and provost of the university. Also he served as president of the Society of Korean oral Literature. He received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from Seoul National University. His teaching interests include Korean oral literature, Korean classical novels, Korean classical poetries, and literary Chinese. His research interests include Korean oral literature, with a focus on Korean shamanist songs. He is the author or co-author of 92 books and 29 papers; he also co-authored Korean language and literature textbooks for middle school and high school students.

Dr. Park is currently spending his sabbatical year as a visiting international professor at Portland State University. 


This program is part of Portland State's ongoing Quarterly Korea Program Series, coordinated by the Institute for Asian Studies and is made possible by the PSU Korean Studies Program Endowment established by the late Portland-area, Korean-American businessman, Mr. Jay Lee,  with continued support from individuals, families, and corporations in our local community.  

Your tax-deductible contribution to the PSU Korean Studies Program Endowment helps ensure ongoing support for quality programs at Portland State about Korea.       [download a Donation Form >]


For more info:             PSU Institute for Asian Studies   |        |      Tel. 503-725-8576