Book Talk (Lecture #4 of 2020 Special Lecture Series): Robert Winstanley-Chesters

Jul 10, 2020

The International Center for Korean Studies, Kyujanggak, Seoul National University is hosting a booktalk series, which introduces a work in Korean studies to facilitate the exchange of views and information among scholars.

We will have our 4th booktalk via ZOOM on July 10, 10:30AM (KST). If you would like to join, please register at Please write your full name and affiliation correctly on the Google Form. We will send you the details you need to log in one day in advance. Thanks in advance!


About the Author

Robert Winstanley-Chesters is a geographer, Lecturer and Visiting Fellow at Bath Spa University and the University of Leeds and formerly a Lecturer at Birkbeck, University of London, a Research Fellow at Australian National University and a Post-Doctoral Fellow of Cambridge University (Beyond the Korean War). Robert is also the Managing Editor of the European Journal of Korean Studies. Robert obtained his doctorate from the University of Leeds in 2013 with a thesis published the following year as ‘Environment, Politics and Ideology in North Korea’ by Lexington Press (Rowman and Littlefield). Robert’s second monograph ‘Vibrant Matters(s): Fish, Fishing and Community in North Korea and Neighbours’ was published in December 2019 by Springer. His third ‘New Goddess of Mount Paektu: Myth and Transformation in North Korean Landscape,’ was published in June 2020. Robert is currently researching the fishing and animal/creaturely geographies in North Korea, colonial mineralogical and forest inheritances of the Korean peninsula and necro-mobilities of North Korean Ghost Ships and other difficult or unwelcome bodies and materials in Korean and East Asian historical geography.

About the Book

Fish, Fishing and Community in North Korea and Neighbours: Vibrant Matters, published by Springer in December 2019 in hardback and as an open access book (generously funded by the Academy of Korean Studies), explores the histories and geographies of fishing in North Korea and the surrounding nations. With the ideological and environmental history of North Korea in mind, the book examines the complex interactions between local communities, fish themselves, the wider ecosystems and the politics of Pyongyang through the lens of critical geography, fisheries statistics and management science as well as North Korean and more generally Korean and East Asian studies. There is increasing global interest in North Korea, its politics, people and landscapes, and as such, this book describes encounters with North Korean fishing communities, as well as unusual moments in the field in the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea (South Korea). It addresses fish, fishing infrastructure, fishing science and fishing statistics and other non-human elements of North Korean and other nations’ developmental regimes as actors and participants within them as much as humans and their technologies. The book enables readers to gain extensive insights into the aspirations and practices of fishing in North Korea and its neighbours, the navigation of difficult political and developmental situations and changing ecological realities in a time of environmental and climate crisis familiar to many across the globe.