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 “The Elegant Wisdom of the Joseon Tradition:

Reflections on the Gyeongbok and Changdeok Palaces and the Philosophy they Embody”


Saturday, August 8, 2015

7:00-9:00 P.M.

@ W Stage Anguk

(see map below)


The Changdeok Palace and Gyeongbok Palace reflect two sides of the elegance and refinement that embody the Joseon Dynasty tradition of continuity and humility. Both palaces, after many setbacks during the colonial occupation and the drive for modernization, have obtained a new significance in a mature Korea. In this seminar we look at the significance of these two palaces for Korea’s culture and governance and the hints that the Joseon tradition offers for our future.


Emanuel Pastreich

“The origins of Seoul’s North-South cultural structure”


Emanuel Pastreich serves as associate professor at Kyung Hee University and the director of The Asia Institute in Seoul. He works the connection between East Asian traditional culture and current issues in politics and international relations.


Mr. Kanghun Ahn

“The Beauty and Wisdom of the Joseon Royal Palaces:

A consideration of the Gyeongbok(慶福) and Changdeok(昌德) Palaces”


Senior member of Asia Institute Internships Program

Senior at Korea National University of Arts


Mr. Jin Yong Lee

“Propriety and Institutional Reform: Modern perspectives on Ye (禮)”


Senior Member of Asia Institute Internships Program

Rhode Island School of Design BFA 2014

‘Korean Renaissance Project 2050: Design for Cultural Innovation’

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Declaration on the 60th Anniversary of

the Russell-Einstein Manifesto


July 9, 2015

In view of the growing risk that in future wars weapons, nuclear and otherwise, will be employed that threaten the continued existence of humanity, we urge the governments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we urge them, consequently, to find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute between them. We also propose that all governments of the world begin to convert those resources previously allocated to preparations for destructive conflict to a new constructive purpose: the mitigation of climate change and the creation of a new sustainable civilization on a global scale.


This effort is endorsed by Foreign Policy in Focus, the Asia Institute, and World Beyond War, and is being launched on July 9, 2015.

You can sign, and ask everyone you know to sign, this declaration here:


Why is this declaration important?


Exactly 60 years ago today, leading intellectuals led by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein gathered in London to sign a manifesto voicing their concern that the struggle between the Communist and Anti-Communist blocs in the age of the hydrogen bomb guaranteed annihilation for humanity.
Although we have so far avoided the nuclear war that those intellectuals dreaded, the danger has merely been postponed. The threat, which has reemerged recently with the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, has only grown more dire.
Moreover, the rapid acceleration of technological development threatens to put nuclear weapons, and many other weapons of similar destructiveness, into the hands of a growing circle of nations (and potentially even of “non-state actors”). At the same time, the early possessors of nuclear weapons have failed to abide by their obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty to destroy their stockpiles.
And now we are faced with an existential threat that may rival the destructive consequences even of a full-scale nuclear war: climate change. The rapacious exploitation of our resources and a thoughtless over-reliance upon fossil fuels have caused an unprecedented disruption of our climate. Combined with an unmitigated attack on our forests, our wetlands, our oceans, and our farmland in the pursuit of short-term gains, this unsustainable economic expansion has brought us to the edge of an abyss.
The original 1955 manifesto states: “We are speaking on this occasion, not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings,” members of the human species “whose continued existence is in doubt.”
The time has come for us to break out of the distorted and misleading conception of progress and development that has so seduced us and led us towards destruction.
Intellectuals bear a particular responsibility of leadership by virtue of their specialized expertise and insight regarding the scientific, cultural, and historical forces that have led to our predicament. Between a mercenary element that pursues an agenda of narrow interests without regard to consequences and a frequently discouraged, misled, and sometimes apathetic citizenry stand the intellectuals in every field of study and sphere of activity. It falls to us that it falls to decry the reckless acceleration of armaments and the criminal destruction of the ecosystem. The time has come for us to raise our voices in a concerted effort.

Last January the famous Doomsday Clock was moved two minutes closer to midnight, the closest it has been since a major war scare 30 years ago.  The accompanying declaration, which warned that the constant threat of nuclear war and “unchecked climate change” severely threaten human civilization, brings to mind the grim warning to the people of the world just 50 years ago by Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein, calling on them to face a choice that is “stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?” In all of human history, there has never been a choice like the one we face today.”

Noam Chomsky

Professor Emeritus

Massachusetts Institute of Technology









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