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Hyojin Pak, PhD candidate, Leiden University. 
Reshuffling Roles and Responsibilities: the social history of waste work in South Korea.
This dissertation explores the social history of waste work in South Korea from the 1960s to the 1990s. I examine the development of Korean waste management through analysing difference actors at varying levels of waste management, especially focusing on those categorised as informal waste workers. Drawing on the bodies of scholarship on waste that have been developed in the overlapping domains of anthropology, human geography, and environmental history, I analyse the organisation of the formal and informal waste management throughout these periods but also the ways in which those systems relate to certain concepts of waste and excess and how that relates to social order in South Korea.
By taking material and metaphorical waste and waste work(ers) at the centre of controversy and heterogeneity, my study examines how the objects and its management are not just symbolic reflections of social, moral, and political values but they actually do constitute such arguments themselves. By doing to, it seeks to bring together discourses on waste whether they build on theories on purity, deviance, surplus and excess, the capitalist mode of production and consumption.
Elżbieta Świstak, MA Student, Stockholm University.
Chinese language education in Europe in the light of the Confucius Institute.
My current research project deals with Chinese language education in Europe.
More specifically, it is directly connected with the spread of the Confucius Institute which is designed for students who are interested in learning Chinese language, culture, history or art. In particular, the project is presently concentrating on the history of Chinese language education in Europe till nowadays, the background of the Confucius Institute in terms of its system, offers and prospects and the statistical future that this education might bring. My interest in this topic developed because as a part of my study I am doing an internship in one of the branches of the Confucius Institute placed in Poland. This is a research area of some importance, as it has the potential to educate us not only about the Confucius Institute but also about the future impact that Chinese language is likely to achieve in the upcoming years.