The Korean Alphabet: Tracing the Origins of a Script

  • Giovanni Volpe, Asian Studies
    Coach House, Green College, UBC

    Monday, November 6, 8-9pm
    in the series
    Green College Resident Members' Series
  • This talk will explore the origins of the Korean alphabet and its far-reaching implications in the history of Korean written language. Often hailed as one of the world’s most scientific writing systems, its creation in fifteenth-century Korea marked a revolutionary departure from the exclusive reliance on sinographs (Chinese characters) as the sole medium of written communication on the Korean peninsula. However, the path that led this unique script to become a cornerstone of contemporary Korean cultural identity was long and fraught with obstacles. Challenged by traditional Confucian scholars who perceived it as a potential threat to Korea’s established position in the Sinocentric world order, it endured a long period of limited usage before ultimately emerging as the defining script of the modern Korean nation.

    Giovanni Volpe is a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Asian Studies at UBC. His research primarily focuses on the history of writing and reading practices in premodern Korea. He earned his Ph.D. in Civilizations of Asia and Africa from Sapienza University of Rome. In 2022, he held a Research Fellowship at the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies at Seoul National University.





    Each week, the Green College Resident Members’ Series features a different presenter (or presenters) from among the Resident Members of Green College. Graduate students, Postdoctoral and Visiting Scholars offer talks and events on their areas of research or study and, as appropriate, bring in their research colleagues from outside the College. 

    Series Conveners: Michael Carelse, Library and Information Studies; Michelle Kamigaki-Baron, Linguistics; and Ricky, Physics and Astronomy


  • Unless otherwise noted, all of our lectures are free to attend and do not require registration.

November 6th, 2023 from  8:00 PM to  9:00 PM
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