On May 28, we will be hosting a discussion with Paul Courtright about his new book "Witnessing Gwangju." We will be talking with Paul about his new book and his experience in 1980, and there will be an opportunity for participants to ask their own questions as well.
Witnessing Gwangju describes the life-altering experience of young Peace Corps volunteer, Paul Courtright. Courtright was in the countryside of South Korea in 1980 to help leprosy patients. On the way back home from his medical checkup, Courtright was caught in the middle of what became known by some as the Gwangju Massacre, also referred to as the May 18 Democratic Uprising where it is estimated that over 600 people were killed. Between Peace Corps policy and frustration, he decided to act. He escaped Gwangju to tell the US Embassy what was happening. This book is based on his eye witness account. His memoir is a record of the Gwangju Uprising as well as a poignant story about how the incident changed a young man’s life in a very short period of time.
Paul Courtright was a US Peace Corps Volunteer in Jeonnam Province of Korea from 1979-81. He has published over 250 scientific articles and has received awards from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Premio Vision Mundi de Lucha Contra la Cuguera, and the Antonio Champalimaud Vision Award. He is a professor (adjunct) at the University of Cape Town and currently he is the Trachoma Technical Lead, consulting for Sightsavers, a UK based non-governmental organization.