IZO Events

We would like to cordially invite you to a lecture by Prof. Michael Lounsbury (Alberta School of Business), one of the most renowned scholars in the field of Management & Entrepreneurship. The lecture, titled "Entrepreneurial Possibilities: Broadening the Scope of Research on Entrepreneurship and Markets" is organised by the IZO in cooperation with the CEDITRAA research project and will take place on 22 May 2023 at Campus Westend.

Professor Lounsbury will present ideas from his recent book with Mary Ann Glynn entitled "Cultural Entrepreneurship: A New Agenda for the Study of Entrepreneurial Processes and Possibilities" (Cambridge University Press, 2019). Cultural Entrepreneurship has been a rapidly growing scholarly conversation that has historically focused a great deal on how new entrepreneurial ventures gain legitimacy via storytelling. The book provides a critique of applied economic approaches to entrepreneurship, and argues for a more profoundly cultural approach that focalizes how field dynamics around future oriented stories constitute the identities of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial possibilities, prefiguring the emergence of entrepreneurial dynamics. He will leverage the empirical case of nanotechnology to illustrate core arguments, but will also call for more diverse research from around the globe (e.g., Africa and Asia) in order to further flesh out the theory of cultural entrepreneurship.

IZO Events

We would like to cordially invite you to the upcoming "Korea and the Global Society" book talk, which is organised by the department of Koreastudien. 

The book talk will take place on 10 May 2023 (6 pm - 7.30 pm) at Campus Westend (PEG 1.135) as well as online via ZOOM 

(ZOOM Registration Link)

The anthology "Korea and the Global Society" (editor: Yonson Ahn) was published by Routledge in February 2023. It covers various fields and disciplines around the theme of South Korea's engagement and exchange with the global society, with a focus on development cooperation, migration and media. The volume focuses on an analysis of South Korea's engagement and reciprocity in the global society, which has evolved from the country's transformation from a recipient of aid and a sender of migrants to a provider of aid and a recipient of migrants

The following two chapters will be presented at this book talk:

"Ex-Periphery: South Korea's Position vis-à-vis the Global Society" (Irina Lyan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

"Negotiating Masculinity: Migrant Husbands and Cross-Border 'Marrying-Up'" (Seonok Lee, University of Groningen)

For further information please contact: Prof. Yonson Ahn,

IZO Events

We would like to cordially invite you to the lecture series "Richard Wilhelm Lecture" with Prof. Dr. Fan-sen Wang (Academia Sinica) entitled "The Birth of Modern China. Politics and History", which is organised by the Sinology Department, the China Institute and the Friends of the University

The lectures will take place on 24 April 2023 and on 26 April 2023 from 6 pm at Campus Westend and are open to all interested parties. Prior registration is not necessary. 

/24 April 2023, 18–20:00 c.t., CAS 1.811/

This lecture seeks to conceptualize a major shift in Chinese utopian   thought with the division of backward-looking and forward-looking utopias. In the wake of the 1898 Reform Movement, a new utopianism that envisioned the destruction of existing social bonds took shape in the /Datongshu/ by Kang Youwei (1858–1927). Inspired by the novel concept of evolution, Kang's utopianism was future-oriented, as he assumed that material and scientific progress could only be achieved by abolishing the Three Bond and Five Relations defined in the Confucian Classics. His idea was a radical break from the traditional Chinese utopian thoughts that were based on ideals to return to ancient morality, as exemplified by stories of “hungry country"—a novelistic utopia where people could withstand poverty and hunger but remain moral—that were popular in the Qing Dynasty. Over the course of just seventy or eighty years, the utopia of morality and poverty found in the hungry country stories gave way to the utopia outlined in the /Datongshu/. With a scientistic belief in human agency, the new utopian thinkers imagined that the social world could be broken down into factors and reassembled in their desired manners. Their future-oriented utopianism exerted enormous influence on modern Chinese reformists and revolutionaries, including Mao Zedong. My categorization not only captures the conceptual transformation from traditional to modern China, but also complements the existing analyses of utopian thoughts, including Zhang Hao's active and passive utopias, and Jay Winter's major and minor utopias.

/26 April 2023, 18–20:00 c.t., IG 1.314/


Amidst the major transition in views of historical evidence in the 1920s, a new model of archaeological research emerged along with the founding of Division of Archaeology at the Institute of History and Philology. Advocates of this new archaeology, represented by Li Chi and Fu Ssu-nien, contended that a modern and scientific approach to   research should be centred upon excavation as a process of comprehensive knowledge, rather than mere collection of ancient texts and artefacts. The new archaeologists were deeply discontent with traditional practices of palaeography and epigraphy, which, according to them, narrowly focused on texts connected to the Confucian classics, paid little attention to material condition of artefacts, and thus failed to achieve a holistic understanding of the past. They also distinguished their project from earlier attempts to reform research on ancient China with Western knowledge, such as Luo Zhenyu and Wang Guowei who employed a method of “twofold evidence" by comparing inscriptions on oracle bones and bronze artefacts with traditional written texts. The new vision of archaeological research was put into practice in the subsequent years after 1928, when the Institute of History and Philology launched the project to excavate the ancient Shang Dynasty capital (Yin Xu) in Anyang, Henan. For modern Chinese researchers, the Yin Xu excavation project defined what could be considered legitimate archaeological evidence, and therefore constituted the canon of modern Chinese archaeology. 

About the Speaker

/PROF. WANG FAN-SEN/ is a historian specializing in the cultural-intellectual history of early modern and modern China (circa 1500 to 1930). He has written broadly on Chinese intellectual history in the last few centuries. His most important works include /Chang T'ai-yen and His World/ (1985), /Fu Ssu-nien: A Life in Chinese History and Politics/ (2000), /The Genealogy of Modern Chinese Thought/ (2003), and /The Historian and the Historiography in Modern China/ (2008), among others. He received his PhD from Princeton University in 1992. He has taught at universities throughout Taiwan, including National Taiwan University and National Tsing Hua University. Prof. Wang has been Academician of Academia Sinica since 2004 and served as its Vice President and Acting President. He is currently serving as the Chancellor of Taiwan Comprehensive University System. Prof. Wang Fan-sen has been the recipient of many distinguished domestic and international awards. In 2005, he was elected as Fellow of the Royal Historical Society of the United Kingdom.

MA Modern East Asian Studies

Mar 31 2023

MEAS Application 2023

The application period for the MA programme Modern East Asian Studies (MEAS) starts on 1 April. The application deadline is 15 August. If you did your BA abroad, we recommend applying by 15 July at the latest.

Should you be interested in applying for the programme, check out the Admissions section of the MEAS website. In case of further questions, you can also contact the MEAS programme coordinator, Mirjam Tröster, or register for the online information session on 26 April, 12:00 (CEST) via email. A second information session will be held on campus (Cas. 1.802) on 1 June, 4-6 pm.

Current Research

Na Zou, Cornelia Storz, 2023, Journal of Business Research, 161, 113821 [Published Online: 16 March 2023]


Why do some entrepreneurs in developing environments thrive whereas others fail, even though they all face the same uncertainties? Prior research on entrepreneurial networks has attributed differences in business performance to variations in network structure. However, many entrepreneurs—such as necessity entrepreneurs—have networks with low structural variation. We show that variations in network content may be an alternative explanation for performance differences. Drawing on the resource-based view, we propose that entrepreneurs whose networks are characterized by low structural variation may benefit from variations in network content—namely, greater resource variety and more resource spanning. Our argument is supported strongly by a random sample of 200 Chinese necessity entrepreneurs working in Shanghai. By bringing network content to the analytical fore, we contribute to research on entrepreneurial networks, which has focused mostly on network structures. We further add to research on necessity entrepreneurship by examining how heterogeneous network content may influence business performance.

Link to this publication

Current Research

Yonson Ahn's edited volume, Korea and the Global Society was published in February 2023 by Routledge. This book explores multiple fields and disciplines around the theme of South Korea's engagement and exchanges with global society focusing on development cooperation, migration and the media.

The core of this volume is an analysis of South Korea's engagement and reciprocity in global society that has developed out of the country's shift from aid recipient and migrant sender to aid provider and migrant host. The contributions approach this through the three main aspects of development cooperation, migration, and the media. These themes represent an interdisciplinary array of research that introduces and analyses interconnected and concurrent instances of reciprocity, convergence, tension, inclusion, or exclusion in navigating South Korea's interactional relations with global society, spanning regions and countries including Africa, Asia, the USA, and Germany. 

This book is interdisciplinary covering a wide range of disciplines including sociology, gender studies, ethnic studies, media studies, IR, and area studies, in particular Korean studies.

The link to this book:

Contributors: Sabine Burghart, Tanja Eydam, Felicia Istad, Seonok Lee, Irina Lyan, David Oh, Jinhee Park, Stephen Cho Suh, Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings, Yonson Ahn  

Citation:  Yonson Ahn ed. 2023. Korea and the Global Society. New York and London: Routledge.   

Current Research

1) New Journal Article by Yonson Ahn on South Korean Im/migrants in South Africa

Yonson Ahn published an article in Korea Journal on 31st December 2022. The topic is 'Migration Trajectories of South Korean Im/migrants in South Africa'. Since the history of this migration destination is relatively recent and on a smaller scale compared to Korean diasporas elsewhere, to date there has been no associated study in the body of Korean diaspora literature. Drawing on in-depth interviews, she maps out the spatial trajectories of migration taken by Korean im/migrants to, from, and within South Africa. Complex issues and motivations that have informed these embodied movements and migration trajectories are explored. This study greatly contributes to the IZO's focus on research on Global East Asia by exploring an under-represented part of Korea/East Asian migration in the Global South whose journeys can be conceptualized within the multi-directional and onward geographic migratory trajectories across Global North-South.

Yonson Ahn “Unending Journeys: Migration Trajectories of Korean Im/migrants in South Africa" Korea Journal, vol. 62, no. 4 (Winter 2022), pp.137-170.  doi: 10.25024/kj.2022.62.4.137   

Download link (Open Access)

2) Yonson Ahn has published a journal article in an under-researched field on Korean Migration in the Global South.

Yonson Ahn together with Jihye Kim published another article in Korea Journal on 31st December 2022. This study is on South Korean migration in the Global South. Migratory trajectories and complexities in the North to South migration are explored. The authors address complexities in the socio-economic motivations and circumstances within which Korean immigrants operate in the Global South. These complexities can be seen in the opportunities, challenges and risks they encounter. Consequently, those in the South find alternative routes and options and diversify their trajectories with high mobility.

Yonson Ahn and Jihye Kim, “Korean Migration in the Global South: Contextualizing Migration Trajectories and Complexities", Korea Journal, vol. 62, no. 4 (Winter 2022), pp.5-17, doi: 10.25024/kj.2022.62.4.5 

Download link (Open Access)

IZO Events

This workshop delves into an under-studied topic of the Korean youth in the South, focusing on the multiple trajectories and complexities of newer-generation Korean im/migrants in the Southern Hemisphere and the Global South. Unlike younger-generation Koreans in the Global North particularly in North America and Europe, who have tended to pursue professional careers and achieved mainstream-oriented mobility, young Korean im/migrants in the Global South have explored different options and followed multiple trajectories beyond the boundaries of their host societies. Hence, this workshop aims to understand how and to what extent these particular circumstances have shaped their lives and experiences of the Korean youth in the South. 

You can register for the Zoom link here.

IZO Events

A workshop with Prof. William Callahan, Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), organised by the IZO Early Career Researcher Network, will take place on 27 January from 9 am to 12 pm. Prof. Callahan will be in Frankfurt the evening before (26 January, 6 pm) to give a lecture at the China Institute,
to which you are also cordially invited.

Under the title "How to understand China, and understand the world: mixed methods approaches", we will then have the opportunity to talk in more detail with one of the most renowned China experts in the field of international relations at the ECRN workshop on Friday morning. Designed specifically for ECRs, the workshop will be highly interactive, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions about research and academic career development. Coffee and snacks will be provided by the IZO during the three-hour event. Participation is only possible after prior registration via email to Please see the attached flyer for further details.

IZO Events

Korean Studies at Goethe University of Frankfurt cordially invites you to the online workshop "Korean and German Encounters and Interactions" on 20 January and 21 January 2023. 

You can register for the zoom link here

The following programme awaits you:

(Panel I) 20 January 2023, 10:15-12:15

Prof. Jin-Wook Shin & Boyeong Jeong (Chung-ang University)

Rival Narratives of Germany and Discursive Struggles in South Korean Public Spheres

Prof. Hannes Mosler (University of Duisburg-Essen)

South Korea's April Revolution Through the Lens of West Germany

Prof. Yvonne Schulz Zinda (University of Hamburg)

The Past, Present and Future of Korean Studies in Germany

(Panel II) 20 January 2023, 13:15-15:15

Prof. Jan Creutzenberg (Ewha Womans University)

Pansori in Germany: Korean Singing-Storytelling, from Invitation to Collaboration

Katharina Süberkrüb (University of Hamburg)

German Trends in Collecting Korean Material Culture Towards the End of the Chosŏn Dynasty

(Panel III) 21 January 2023, 10:00-12:00

Dr. Jihye Kim (University of Central Lancashire)

Hallyu (Korean Wave) and Korean Restaurant Businesses in Frankfurt

Prof. Yonson Ahn (Goethe University of Frankfurt)

Maternal Practices of Korean Healthcare Workers in Germany

Dr. Jaok Kwon-Hein (University of Heidelberg)

Becoming 'Good' Working Mothers: Mothering of Highly Skilled Female Migrants from Korea in Germany