Professor Michael Puett of Harvard University visits Korea under auspices of the Asia Institute and Kyung Hee Cyber University

Professor Michael Puett of Harvard University visits Korea under auspices of the Asia Institute and Kyung Hee Cyber University


The Asia Institute, in cooperation with our partner Kyung Hee Cyber University, hosted Professor Michael Puett of Harvard University for a one week stay in Seoul (July 16-22, 2013).

Professor Puett is an expert widely recognized for his work on the political thought of ancient China who has begun writing widely about the potentiality for the future of China to be found in its own varied and complex cultural past.

Kyung Hee Cyber University and the Asia Institute hosted three talks with Professor Puett in which he spoke to an audience of students (middle school, high school and college—as well as some adults) about critical issues for youth. The first lecture concerned the meaning of education and study with a focus on what Harvard University education offers as a model.

The second lecture concerned the larger cultural and geopolitical significance of the rise of China for Korea and the world with an emphasis on a long-term, balanced perspective.

The third lecture, which also featured Professor John Treat of Yale University and Director Emanuel Pastreich of the Asia Institute, concerned a broad consideration of strategies and approaches to study aimed at today’s youth.

The last event was remarkable for the honest dialog between middle school, high school and college students and these three professors concerning the terrible social pressures to which they are subject. For more than 90 minutes the three professors responded to questions and even after the end of the event they continued to answer questions from those assembled.

Professor Puett also delivered a talk at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (cosponsored by the Asan Academy) for young people about China’s new role in East Asia and the need to move beyond a simplistic conception of “modernism” that blinds us to the degree of continuity with the past that we see. He suggested that in fifty years, the so-called “rise of China” will seem like nothing more than a return to the steady state of most of world history, with China as a dominant power in culture and technology.

Finally, Professor Puett and Director Pastreich visited the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy (민족사관고등학교), one of Korea’s most innovative high schools to attend a seminar with students about the study of history and the distinct perspective of each scholar on East Asia and on Korea.  The event was organized by Arthur E. Michalak, communications director at The Asia Institute. Alexander Ganse, senior history teacher at the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, led the discussion.


Pastreich and Puett joined by Alexander Ganse at the Korean Minjok Leadership Academy for a discussion with students.
Michael Puett speaks with students about China at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies.
Earnest discussion with students.


The Following is a list of Publications in the Korean media concerning Professor Puett’s visit to Korea:



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