Socialist and radical pedagogy today


Watch the launch of Socialist Education in Korea: The Politics and Pedagogy of Resistance and Revolution, a volume of selected writings by Kim Il Sung on education and politics, edited by PSL Indianapolis members Riley Seungyoon Park and Cambria York. The editors are joined by a panel of discussants rooted in the Korean struggle in a celebration of the volume’s publication by Iskra Books. The webinar, which was organized by the International Manifesto Group, Peace, Land, and Bread, The People’s Forum, Nodutdol, and the Hampton Institute, took place on November 27, 2022.

The book’s editors and Korean solidarity activists and contributors, including Keith Bennett, Betsy Yoon, and Derek Ford, address the proportional relationship between the demonisation of the DPRK and the level of ignorance one has about the state, the country, its government, its people and society, and its history. What role does education play in both the construction and demonisation of Korea and socialism? What can educators in the U.S. learn from the Korean experience?

Socialist Education in Korea is available as an affordable paperback and as a free PDF through Iskra Books.

More information on the panelists as well as links to their individual speeches can be found below.

About the panelists

Nate Reed is with Iskra Books, the publisher of Socialist Education in Korea. You can watch his introductory remarks here.

Riley Seungyoon Park is a masters student in psychology at the University of Indianapolis. Their research interests center on community-based psychotherapy from an anti-imperialist, Marxist, and disability justice orientation. They co-edited Socialist Education in Korea: Selected Writings of Kim Il-Sung and have written other works on Korea for the Hampton Institute. Park’s an organizer for the ANSWER Coalition and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Since 2019, they’ve been a central people’s leader in various movements in Indianapolis, organizing around reproductive justice, the war on Black America, capitalism, and imperialism. Additionally, Park is active in the international Korean movement for peace and reunification, participating in the Global Peace Forum on Korea in 2019 and, this month, was a part of the first U.S. U.S. Academic Peace Delegation to visit Chongryon–the General Association of Koreans in Japan–since the COVID-19 pandemic began. You can watch Riley’s introductory remarks here.

Derek R. Ford is a teacher, educational theorist, and organizer currently serving as associate professor of education studies at DePauw University, USA. Ford’s published eight monographs, including Encountering Education: Elements for a Marxist Pedagogy (2022) and Marxism, Pedagogy, and the General Intellect: Beyond the Knowledge Economy (2021). Ford organized the last U.S. delegation to the DPRK before the U.S.-imposed travel ban and, together with Kiyul Chung and Curry Malott, leads the only U.S. academic exchange program with Korea University in Japan. You can watch Derek’s introductory remarks here.

Keith Bennett is an active member of the International Manifesto Group and a consultant specialising in Chinese and Korean affairs. He is the Deputy Chair of the Kim Il Sung Kim Jong Il Foundation (KKF) and the Deputy Secretary General of the European Regional Society for the Study of the Juche Idea. He has closely followed events in Korea and the Korean road to socialism for nearly half a century and first visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in 1983 as a delegate to the World Conference of Journalists Against Imperialism. He has subsequently visited the country on some 50 occasions and was twice awarded the DPRK Order of Friendship by President Kim Il Sung. He has delivered papers on the Juche idea and on Korean reunification at conferences in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Keith took part in the webinar via a pre-recorded video; you can watch it here.

Betsy Yoon works as a librarian at Baruch College, CUNY and is a member of Nodutdol for Korean Community Development. Betsy has coordinated Nodutdol’s Korea Education and Exposure Program (KEEP) since 2011, which takes members of the Korean diaspora to visit the northern and southern halves of our homeland. As part of KEEP, Betsy has led three delegations of Koreans to north Korea. Our visits to north Korea have been suspended because of the ban on travel to the north that was instituted by Trump in 2017. Betsy is part of Nodutdol’s Tongil Solidarity Committee, which is currently working to get the ban on travel to north Korea lifted so that we can resume our delegation trips to the north. You can watch Betsy’s introductory remarks here.

Cambria York is a self-described ‘recovering academic’, voice actor, folklore-inspired musician, theatrical technician, and tribal sovereignty advocate. She is the co-editor of Socialist Education in Korea: Selected Writings of Kim Il-Sung. York is an organizer with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the ANSWER coalition, and the Indianapolis Liberation Center where she coordinates the People’s Power Urban Farm in coalition with area mutual aid groups to combat food apartheid and environmental racism. York is a Journeyman technician in her trade union, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), and has been active in the performing arts (whether onstage or backstage) all her life. As a voiceover artist, you can hear Cambria on the upcoming audiobook launch of Socialist Reconstruction: A Better Future for the United States, and on Liberation Audio on most streaming platforms, where she regularly contributes in recording articles published through Liberation School and Liberation News. You can watch Cambria’s introductory remarks here.

Radhika Desai is a Professor at the Department of Political Studies, and Director, Geopolitical Economy Research Group, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. She is the author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire (2013), Slouching Towards Ayodhya: From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics (2nd rev ed, 2004) and Intellectuals and Socialism: ‘Social Democrats’ and the Labour Party (1994), a New Statesman and Society Book of the Month, and editor or co-editor of Russia, Ukraine and Contemporary Imperialism, a special issue of International Critical Thought (2016), Theoretical Engagements in Geopolitical Economy (2015), Analytical Gains from Geopolitical Economy (2015), Revitalizing Marxist Theory for Today’s Capitalism (2010), and Developmental and Cultural Nationalisms (2009). You can watch Radhika’s introductory remarks here.