The University of British Columbia’s commitment to Asia-Pacific Studies has a long history, having offered specialized courses on Korea since 1982.

Interest in and need for in-depth research on Korea continued to grow and thus in 1993, the Centre for Korean Research was established as a constituent part of the Institute of Asian Research with generous gifts from various organizations including the Korean Community in Vancouver led by the British Columbia Society for the Advancement of Korean Studies, the Korea Foundation, the Pohang Iron and Steel Co, and the Sammi Group.

Over the past two and a half decades, the CKR has been the leader of Korean studies in Canada with its vibrant programs of research and teaching, community involvement, and international exchange. It was established to facilitate research on Korea through multidisciplinary approaches and now has faculty members focusing on Korean language, literature, history, political science, music, and anthropology. Specifically, the CKR aims to:

  • Intensify UBC’s focus on Korea and Canada-Korea issues;
  • Develop funded research projects;
  • Organize interdisciplinary research seminars, workshops, projects, lectures, and conferences;
  • Facilitate the exchange of scholars; and
  • Expand scholarly opportunities for graduate students; and serve as a forum for interaction between UBC and the Korean Canadian community.

Since its inception, the CKR has gained increasing recognition as a major hub of Korean studies in North America and beyond. As the first Korean studies centre in Canada and the only one in BC, the CKR will maintain its pivotal role in linking academic institutions in BC, across Canada and indeed the world. Its collaborative projects include educational and research partnerships or consortiums with academic institutions in Korea, North America and Japan, including Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University, Korea Cultural Research Institute at Ewha Womans University, Tongbuk-A munhwa kyoryu yŏn’guso at Korea University, Han’guk minjok munhwa yon’guso at Pusan National University, Tamla Cultural Research Institute at Cheju National University, Research Center of Korean Studies at Kyushu University, and American Korean studies centres (U-Washington, U-Hawaii, UC Berkeley, UC Los Angeles, Chicago, Michigan, Columbia, Harvard and Stanford).


Affiliated UBC Faculty & Postdocs

Name Role Research Interests
Baker, Donald Leslie Faculty (G+PS eligible/member) Humanities and the arts; Korean History; Confucian Philosophy; Religion in Korea; science in pre-modern Korea; Kwangju Uprising of 1980
Lynn, Hyung Gu Faculty (G+PS eligible/member) Asian history; popular culture, migration, colonialism, globalization, development
Tiberghien, Yves Faculty (G+PS eligible/member) Political science; global politics