The Conant Collection Symposium

"The Korean War and its Aftermath: Cinematic Memories from the Theodore Conant Collection"
March 30, 2012 (Friday)
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Co-hosted by: The Center for Korean Research and the C.V. Starr East Asian Library

Venue: Kent Hall Room 403 and C.V. Starr East Asian Library at Columbia University (reception)

Registration required: at

Symposium information:

Sixty years have passed since the Korean War broke out when North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. The Center for Korean Research and the C.V. Starr East Asian Library will host a one-day symposium on the cinematic memory of the war on Friday, March 30, 2012 at Columbia University, showcasing the library’s recently acquired Theodore Richard Conant Collection. This symposium will include introduction of the Conant Collection, Conant’s interview followed by a panel discussion with professors and experts on the Korean War and Korean films. The symposium will also show six of Conant’s films. The C.V. Starr East Asian Library will invite attendants to tour the exhibition of Conant’s photographs and documents during the symposium and there will be an evening reception in the library reading room. The symposium will be a unique opportunity to explore the Conant Collection, which has never been opened to the public before, and its unique value, especially the documentary films and photographs. This will enlighten scholars, students, and the local community in understanding the Korean War, Korean film history, and the history of modern Korea.


9:00 - 9:30 AM     Registration & Refreshment (Kent Hall 403)
9:30 - 9:45 AM     Welcome and Opening remarks

1.    Charles Armstrong, Director, The Center for Korean Research, Columbia University
2.    Jim Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, Columbia University
3.    Robert Hymes, Director, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
4.    Jim Cheng, Director, C. V. Starr East Asian Library, Columbia University

9:45 - 10:00 AM     “Introduction to the Conant Collection”

Presenter: Hee-sook Shin, Korean Studies Librarian, Columbia University

10:00 - 10:30 AM     Screening of Conant's Films

1.    Children in Crisis  
2.    Korean Newsreel
3.    Korean Artist 
4.    United Nations Review 
5.    I Am a Truck 

10:30 - 10:45 AM     Break

10:45 - 11:45 AM     Interview with Mr. Conant

Interviewer: Charles Armstrong, Columbia University  
12:00 - 1:30 PM     Lunch (served only to the presenters and VIP guests)

1:30 - 3:00 PM     Panel discussion with the guest speakers 

1.    Byung-Hoon Lee, Director, Korean Film Archive
“A Vision of Korean Film Archive in the Digital Age and the Archiving of Non-fiction Moving Images”
2.    Steven Chung, Assistant Professor, East Asian Studies, Princeton University
“Cold War Optics, Korea”
3.    Gregg Brazinsky, Associate Professor, George Washington University
“The US, the UN, and Korean Reconstruction”

Discussant: Charles Armstrong, Columbia University
3:00 -4:30 PM     Reception (Starr East Asian Library Reading Room)


*Please visit the Starr East Asian Library Reading Room at Kent Hall for the Conant Collection Photo Exhibition.

*For pre-registration and further information, contact either Jooyeon Kim at or Hee-sook Shin at