ICAS Bulletin
Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.

July 11, 2002

Jacqueline Pak

Adjunct Professor of Asian Studies
School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University

to be featured at

ICAS Summer Symposium:

Korean Diaspora Challenges and Issues facing The Korean-American Community (KAC) in the New Century
Identification, Critical Examination, Goal & Vision, and Strategy

August 10 2002 1:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Calvary Vision Community Center Auditorium (484 342 0300)
550 Township Line Road
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Dear Friend:

We are pleased to share with you that Jacqueline Pak will speak at the ICAS Summer Symposium 2002 with her lecture on "Korean-American Pioneers: Seo Jaepil and Ahn Changho" (ICAS Lectures No 2002-0810-JAP).

Jacqueline Pak is a historian of modern Korea and Korean America, and activist on Asian-America. Born in Korea and educated in America and Britain, Jacqui received a B.A. in international relations from University of Virginia; an M.A. in politics/political economy from New York University and another M.A. in Korean Studies from Harvard University. She earned a Ph.D. in history from the University of London, SOAS.

Jacqui has lived and worked in Washington, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Wiesbaden, and Seoul. Her experience includes research and policymaking assignments at the United Nations, Harvard Business School, Library of Congress, and Sejong Institute, among others. Last year, she taught at UCLA as Luce Fellow on Korean Christianity. Currently, Jacqui teaches Korean-American and Korean history at Georgetown University.

Her forthcoming book, "For My Beloved: An Ch'angho (1878-1938) and the Nationalist Origins of Korean Democracy", will be published in English (Stanford University Press) and translated in Korean. The book is an intellectual biography of An Ch'angho, the chief architect and strategist of the Korean independence movement, based on a voluminous collection of his private papers for the first time. As a Korea Foundation Fellow, Jacqueline Pak examined the collections of private papers of So Chaep'il (1866 -1951) and An Ch'angho at the Independence Hall of Korea.

Her book illumines the philosophical and political milieu which gave rise to An Ch'angho's emergence as the founding father of the Republic of Korea who drafted the first republican constitution, unified the Korean Provisional Government, and waged the war of independence against the Japanese colonialists. Jacqui's study is a systematic and empirical effort to delineate the manner in which the ideals and practice of democracy was assimilated in the Korean nationalist movement and to rectify previous misjudgment of An Ch'angho as a "gradualist-pacifist", "cultural nationalist", or passive collaborator.

Her scrutiny of the private papers reveals that An Ch'angho was, most of all, a pioneering constitutional democrat who pursued the goal of sovereign freedom as a militarist revolutionary and strategist. In this regard, the underlying assumptions concerning the ideological nature and political dynamics of the Korean quest for independence and democracy are critically reconfigured and reconceptualized, rejecting the earlier divisive and binary Cold War paradigms or the accumulated contradictions of colonialism. As a biography of leader and nation, it captures a unique and indigenous form of nationalism expressed in a rare merger of revolution and democracy in East Asia. Overcoming a storm of academic controversy, Jacqui's new findings confront and interrogate the earlier conceptions of An Ch'angho as a "gradualist-pacifist" or "cultural nationalist", the idée fixé which had not been seriously questioned since the 1960s. Reflecting the symbolic significance of his transnational leadership of early Korean-Americans, his statue was unveiled in August 2001 in the city square of Riverside, California, next to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

As a fourth (and 1.5) generation Korean-American, Jacqui feels a special kinship with her subject of study, An Ch'angho, with whom her great-grandfather, Pak Youngjik, studied and lived together at the Hungsadan headquarters in Los Angeles for more than fifteen years. Pak Youngjik was an early member of the revolutionary leadership-training society, Hungsadan (Young Korean Academy), established by An Ch'angho in 1913 in San Francisco, California. Eventually, Pak became one of Korea's earliest Impressionist painters and a professor of Western painting at Seoul National University.

In the past years, she has presented her new paradigm-altering discoveries in modern Korean history at academic conferences in Europe, North America and Asia, including representation of Korean-America for the conference sponsored by the White House Initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. She also continues to participate in radio/television broadcasts, documentaries and exhibits as a bilingual scholar on Korea and Korean-America.

As an activist, Jacqui has served as the president of the Library of Congress Asian-American Association (LCAAA) and continues to devote her time and energy to promote the cause of advancement of Asian-Americans in the U S government. Her future plan includes writing a multi-generational memoir as an odyssey between Korea and America, which will explore the lives of her family members who were leaders of the Korean independence and women's movement.

Thank you.


Sang Joo Kim / signed
Sr. Fellow & Executive Vice President

ICAS Fellow