Power and Love in Korean Culture

Heseung Ann Song

President/CEO, Osiris Group, Inc.

This workshop introduces participants to interactive Web-based lessons, one that focuses on love and social mobility during the Choson Dynasty and (if time permits) another on power as interpreted through the evolution of the 1882 U.S. & Korea Treaty. Cultural concepts that will be covered include the following:

  • The view of selfhood as interdependent and defined by kinship relations and one’s position in society
  • Role fulfillment as the embodiment of individual aspiration
  • The greater priority placed on harmony and order over democracy
  • The nature of time as cyclical rather than linear

Throughout the workshop, the instructors will stress the ways in which these lessons are relevant and applicable to students of the 21st century—that is, helpful in understanding who we are, whether or not we share a Korean heritage. We expect participants to actively participate in acting out roles tied to each lesson, which will be assigned at the beginning of the workshop.

Biographical Sketch

Heseung Ann Song, M.Ed. is President/CEO of Osiris Group, Inc., a Philadelphia-based business strategy and communications firm she co-founded in 2000. Osiris serves a diverse roster of for-profits and nonprofits, including biotechnology start-ups, land conservation trusts, regional tourism agencies and the Philadelphia School District. A graduate of Yale College, she received a Masters of Education from Harvard University, where she is pursuing her doctoral studies in developmental psychology. Her dissertation focuses on racial-ethnic differences in academic achievement. Since graduating from college and prior to launching Osiris, Heseung spent many years as a teacher, counselor and coach of students in a variety of contexts, including public and private high schools, college and graduate-level classes, and several National Association of Korean Schools (NAKS) workshops as a teaching assistant to Dr. Hesung Chun Koh—a valued mentor since Heseung’s freshman year when she snuck into Dr. Koh’s senior seminar. Heseung has also served as a development director at a social service agency and at a performing arts center. For the past 15 years, she has volunteered as a college counselor, tutoring students from disadvantaged communities. Heseung has received several awards, including the Philadelphia Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty Award, the Outstanding Leadership Award for Career Achievement and Service from the Korean American Women’s Conference, and her most cherished, a commendation from the President and Fellows of Yale University for Outstanding Leadership in the Service of the New Haven Community. She is a board member of the Pennsylvania Economy League and the Union Benevolent Association, Philadelphia’s oldest charitable organization. She was born in Seoul, raised in Baltimore and will die a Philadelphia Eagles fan.