Wellesley College Adds Korean Language and Literature;
Korea Foundation Grant Will Help Support New Professorship

For immediate release:
January 25, 2005
Arlie Corday

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- Next fall, Wellesley College will add Korean language and literature to its array of academic options. The new major will be established with help from a grant from the Korea Foundation to support a new professorship in Korean language, literature and culture.

“The Foundation sincerely hopes our support will enable your college to make a notable contribution to the development of Korean studies in the United States,” said Korea Foundation President Kwon In Hyuk in a letter to Wellesley President Diana Chapman Walsh, “and I would like to thank you for your initiative and efforts in this regard.”

“Our goal is to have an undergraduate East Asian languages and literatures program of the highest quality and stature,” said Walsh. “The study of Korean language and culture is essential to this goal, and we are committed to continuing the professorship with internal funding at the end of the grant period.”

The three-year grant is for $218,905, paid in three annual installments. A national search is now underway to hire a Korean language and literature professor who will join the Wellesley College faculty this fall.

Wellesley inaugurated a new department of East Asian Languages and Literatures in July 2004, providing a framework to incorporate the study of Korea into the curriculum.

Wellesley has a long tradition of interest and involvement in Asia, dating nearly to its founding in 1870. For decades, the college has had outstanding departmental programs in Chinese and Japanese, with other courses related to China, Japan and Korea taught in many departments including anthropology, art and art history, English, history, music, political science, religion and writing. The new umbrella program in East Asian Studies provides a structure to coordinate existing programs, raise the profile of Asian studies at Wellesley and create new academic opportunities.

“Korea has been an underrepresented area in our curriculum, and the college has long wanted to address this gap,” said Dean of the College Andrew Shennan. “Given the rising international profile and global impact of South Korea, we believe that the study of Korean language and literature is one of our most pressing curricular needs. We are very grateful to the Korea Foundation for its help in launching these efforts.”

Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an excellent liberal-arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to 2,300 undergraduate students from all 50 states and 68 countries. For more information, go to www.wellesley.edu.

Established in 1991, the Korea Foundation is an independent organization that aims to enhance Korea’s image and reputation in the world through promotion of various academic and cultural exchange programs. For more information, go to www.kofo.or.kr/.