The Great Debate

After two days of inspiring panels and stimulating workshops on a range of topics, the conference will be brought to its conclusion through the annual Great Debate. The overarching theme of INDePth 2014 has been “Re-imagining the Korean Peninsula”- a topic specifically formulated to evaluate and assess chances for lasting peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. The Great Debate will investigate this idea as it pertains to intra-Korea relations and introduce conflicting viewpoints on questions of reunification, security, stability, and peace on the Korean peninsula.


The debate will consist of two teams of three panelists each, partnered with a debate mentor. All students will be given the opportunity to volunteer to participate in the debate before the conference starts. On the first day of the conference, candidates will be selected randomly through a draw. On Day 2, selected debaters will have an opportunity to meet with their Debate Captains during the “Unconference” Session to prepare for the Great Debate later on in the day.

This year’s Great Debate will be conducted in the Oxford Format, in which one team will represent the Government and speak in favour of a motion, while the other team will represent Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition and debate against the motion. Prior to the debate, the audience will be polled to indicate whether they are for, against, or undecided on the topic. The victory for either debate team will depend upon their ability to change the minds of the audience through compelling and concise arguments, which will be reflected in the second poll immediately following the debate.

Great Debate Mentors

shinchoiSHIN HYUNG CHOI is an M.A. candidate in modern Korean history. His current research interests include the legacy of colonial nationalism, North Korea in the context of the Cold War, and the cultural history of reunification in both Koreas. He is also a part of the Collaborative Master’s Program in Asia-Pacific Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs. He holds a B.A. (Hons.) in history from Queen’s University (2012).


Sandy Oh croppedSANDY OH is a Ph.D. student in Social-Cultural Anthropology.  Her research focuses on South Korean adolescents and their participation in the private education industry.  Specifically, she is interested in the relationship between speculation, risk, management, and educational aspirations.