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Seo Sang Don ( 서상돈) in Daegu, Korea (1912)

Seo Sang Don in Daegu, Korea (1912) with French Catholic priests

Occasionally I reserve the right to just post cool photographs on my blog, which might have been the reason for starting it many years ago. This photograph is from 1912 in Daegu, Korea, of the subject of many a blog post, Seo Sang Dong (서상돈). Seo Sang Dong was a wealthy yangban (양반) of the area who attempted to mitigate growing Japanese colonial control in Korea by helping pay off the national debt through contributions. The National Debt Repayment Movement, 국채보상운동을, although a failed effort, was his contribution to modern Korean national history. In his off-time, he managed to sire many children, one of which would would become my wife’s great-grandfather. So Seo Sang Don is my wife’s great great grandfather. This kind of thing matters in Korea. Another of his accomplishments was his his supporting Catholicism in the Daegu area, contributing much of his land to the building of a church. In this photograph, we see him in 1912 with a bevy of French priests with some serious facial hair. In less than a month, I will be back in Korea and I suspect a good deal of my off-time will be spent looking for more on Seo Sang Don, including his old house, which I think can be seen in the photograph below and is apparently a museum.

Seo (서 or 徐) family of Daegu, Korea, circa 1934.

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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

1 Comment

  1. Hello Michael,
    You and I were on the same facebook but I cancelled my fb account. I am Sohee’s cousin. My father was Sohee’s mom’s older brother, Seo Chung-ho. Would you do me a favor? You have posted on fb other photos of Seo family in which my parents and my four older siblings were shown. (They were taken in the courtyard of our grandfather Seo Byung-jo’s home.) I’d appreciate it very much if you could send me copies of those photos through email. tspark63@yahoo.com. Thank you! Therese Park

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