Lee Hee-jin (Harvard Univ., 4) came to study at Ewha in June 2004.
Lee majors in East Asian Studies and Government.
|▲ Lee spent a
month of intensive studying and researching at Ewha.|
- Photo provided
by Lee Hee-jin
I spent the month of June last year at Ewha University in
order to conduct research in Korea for my senior honors thesis, a year-long,
intense and serious academic research project pursued by honors degree
candidates in their final year at Harvard. In my thesis, I examined South Korea's
role in shaping its security relationship with the United States during the
Korean War armistice negotiations through the theoretical framework of
sovereignty. Although the fighting stopped in 1953, the Korean War remains
relevant to South Korea's current affairs as the armistice agreement and the
Mutual Defense Treaty between South Korea and the United States are still in
effect today. My research was motivated by the conventional argument in the
scholarly literature that South Korea simply followed the dictates of the United
States during the armistice negotiations because South Korea was a small, weak,
and newly established state. I challenged this position, arguing that the South
Korean government at that time actively sought to obtain an outcome most
satisfactory to its interests within the greater international system dominated
by the United States. The actions of the South Korean government towards the
United States from 1951 until 1953 demonstrated that it was a partial sovereign,
rather than a non-sovereign entity that some assumed it to have been.
I visited Korea
last summer to obtain information sources unavailable in the United States.
During this time, I lived on-campus at the International House and made frequent
use of the Central Library. Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to
meet many Ewha students; not only were they busy with final exam preparations,
but I was also working on a tight schedule. However, I became very fond of Ewha
as I familiarized myself with the campus and the surrounding area. Despite
having to travel up and down the hills from the International House to the
entrance several times a day, I loved hearing the birds from the dorm and being
able to see the Seoul cityscape. I was inspired by Ewha students working hard in
the hot and humid readings rooms in the Central Library as well as the kindness
of the copy room staff who painstakingly made copies of the many requests I
submitted during my research. Overall, I had a very productive and enjoyable
stay at Ewha, and I hope to be able to return to the campus in the future.
|Lee Hee-jin (Harvard Univ., 4) came to study at Ewha in
June 2004. Lee majors in East Asian Studies and