[ Korea Table of Contents ]
[ Panels by World Area Main Menu ]
[ View the Timetable of Panels ]
Organizer and Chair: Michael D. Shin, Cornell University
Discussants: Thomas Ferguson, University of Massachusetts, Boston; James B. Palais, University of Washington; Myung-Lim Park, Yonsei University; Haruki Wada, University of Tokyo; Marilyn B. Young, New York University
Keywords: Korean War, U.S.-Korea relations, U.S. foreign policy, East Asian political economy, cold war, North Korea.
This roundtable aims to shed light on recent developments on the Korean peninsula by examining the origins of Koreas division through a discussion of Bruce Cumings two-volume work, The Origins of the Korean War (Princeton, 1981 and 1990).
Cumings main thesis challenged cold war orthodoxy by arguing that the Korean War was civil and revolutionary in nature, its roots going back decades to the conflict between landlord and peasant. At the same time, he demonstrated that Korea played a crucial role in the onset of the cold war. His analysis combined Wallersteins world systems analysis and the work of Barrington Moore to illuminate the connections among U.S. foreign policy, regional political economy, and class relations within Korea.
The roundtable will focus on issues such as U.S. occupation policies, East Asian political economy and land reform, the roots of U.S. foreign policy and domestic politics post-WWII, the early years of North Korea, and postwar developments in both the North and the South. On the occasion of its reprint in 2003, the roundtable will also assess the impact of Cumings work in a variety of fields in the U.S., South Korea, and Japan.
The roundtable assembles scholars, including historians of Korea and specialists on U.S. foreign policy, who can comment on a wide spectrum of issues raised by the books. Three of the participants have written or are working on books on the Korean War (Park, Wada, and Young).
Session 25: Region, Regionalism, and Regionalization in Korea
Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Valérie Gelézeau, Marne-la-Vallée University
Keywords: Korea, province or to, region, regionalism, regionalization, regional discrimination, chiyok munje, chiyok kamjong, Cholla, Honam.
This panel seeks to interrogate various aspects of the so-called "regional issue" (chiyok munje) in South Korea. This issue, in its political, economical, and emotional dimensions emerged since the mid-1980s as a repeated theme of the (academic or non-academic) discourse on the nations territorial differentiations. Along with the famous Cholla-do question, regional cleavages resulting from economic development and the regionally-based party system are constantly pointed out as peculiar forms of South Korean regionalism. The recent administrative reforms (regionalization or chibang chachi tanche, 1994), while giving more power to the provinces (to) and the local communities, put new challenges on this debate on region, regionalism, and regionalization.
Based on an interdisciplinary dialogue between geography, history, and political sciences initiated by the presentation of the papers, this panel will allow the discussion of four main themes: (1): "How to cut Korea into pieces?" will be the first question addressed by the panelists: between smaller villages and larger provinces (to) are there obliterated but meaningful territorial units that deserve attention? Above this simple question, epistemological and heuristic problems of the "region" as a scientific object will be debated; (2): Provinces and regions in Korean history will also be discussed, along with the existence (or nature) of a "regional issue" in pre-industrial Korea; (3): The third axis will lead the panelists to debate the complex question of contemporary regionalism, its origins and specificity, as well as its relationship with the South Korean economic and political system of Park Chunghees era; and (4): The images and representation of Korean regions/provinces (in the past and in the present) will be a last aspect of Korean regionalism to be discussed by the panelists.
Administrative Geography and Regional Discrimination through the Analysis of Koryos Merit-Subject Categories in the Tongguk Yoji Sungnam (1530)
Yannick Bruneton, Laboratoire dEtudes Coréennes, Paris
Administrative geography, which describes the Korean Peninsula according to the provincial division unchanged from 1413 until 1894, predominates all the geographical writings during the 12th18th centuries. As the most representative work of administrative geography in Korea, the Tongguk Yoji Sungnam contributed to elaborate a collective image of the Korean provinces, especially since the Koryo period (9181392). The distribution of "merit-subjects" recorded in each province according to their patronymic lineage (pon kwan) and their merit (kong), shows a disparate image of Korea, based on a clear hierarchy between provinces related to the socio-political role of their inhabitants. In addition, this biased image does not correspond to the administrative "polarities" (centers) of Koryo kingdom. In fact, such an image shows unequal treatment of the provinces and omissions established by the official history of the Koryosa (History of Koryo, 1451). In the Tongguk Yoji Sungnam merit-subjects categories concerning the lower class of the society have indeed narrow connections with the promotion of new familial neo-Confucian rites, especially funerary rites (three years mourning). Such discrimination in the representation of Koryo provinces reflects the neo-Confucian ideology that was powerful in the 15th century among the literati elite of the newly-founded Choson Dynasty (13921910), eager to ensure its own legitimization. The image of Korean provinces reflected by merit-subjects categories of the Koryo period in the Tongguk Yoji Sungnam has been a vehicle of regionalist views of the state and perpetuated during centuries by the political power.
The History, Politics, and Images of Korean Regionalism: Cholla 1925Honam 1993
Alain Delissen, EHESS, France
Combining Space and Time, my paper aims at putting forward a genealogy of Korean regions and regional problems. Why is a comparatively small and highly homogeneous country divided into well-identified and self-centered regions? Do geography and history really help to explain two related features: the acuteness of some interregional feuds (Kyongsang/ Cholla, e.g.), and enduring prejudices against Cholla people?
It was found that Korean regionalism: (1) tallies with two scales of phenomena; (2) is patterned on a moral geography; (3) conveys notions of a centripetal competition.
Comparing the style, features, and content of two travelogues (or tapsagi) written seventy years apart (1925 and 1993) about the same Cholla region by non-natives, this paper also examines the historical stability of regional imaginings.
At stake: new insights into the "Cholla question" and a scale shift from macro- to micro-regional identities.
Inverse Causality: The Political Origin of Koreas Regionalism
Sang-Hoon Park, Korea University
This paper seeks to explain the socio-political bases of "regionalism" that emerged as a fault line of political parties after the democratization begun in 1987. Democratization put an end to the one-party dominant system, but one-party domination was only replaced by a system composed of four major parties claiming exclusive regional representation. At the level of national politics, the effective number of parties increased, but it was accompanied by one-party dominant system within each region.
One of the main explanatory models of this situation attributes regionally-based party system to ancient and deep-rooted regionalism. In this model, regional cleavages are a given; parties just mobilize it, while voters cast their votes on regionally molded preferences. These developments are new in South Korea because authoritarian rule suppressed such the free play of regionalist forces and democratization recently allowed them to be expressed. Studies using this model, therefore, tend to focus on how deep-rooted regionalism is and stress regional conflicts within Korean society.
This paper points out the theoretical and empirical weaknesses of this model, while suggesting an alternative explanation for the regionally-based party system. First, regionalism before democratization was not strong enough to shape voters political choice. Second, different combinations of post-democratization variables could have led to another type of system than the regionally-based party system. In conclusion, this paper argues that Korean regionalism is a recent phenomenon and explains the various combined factors which lead to the outcome of a regionally-based party system.
Regional Affiliation and Regional Representation of the South Korean State Ruling Elite in Power between 1961 and 1992
Marie-Orange Rivé-Lasan, EHESS, France
At the end of the 20th century, South Korean regional cleavages showed inequities in their regional economical development as well as disparities in the political representation of the regions. A phenomenon of co-option based on regional criteria can be observed in the recruitment of the new elites and, at the same time, it can be seen how the regional origin of current elites affects national political choices in favor of their region.
Through Whos Who and directory sources, we have searched for biographical elements relating to the regional origin and regional representation of a ruling state elite group composed of 47 persons. Ruling the state from 1961 to 1992, these elites belong to four elite categories (Head of State, Chief of Presidential Secretary, Chief of Presidential Guards, and Chief of Intelligence Services) which we believe to have dominated the state during this period of time. Analysis of these ruling elites birthplaces shows that 45% of them were born in Kyongsang province. The influence of this province is even more increased if we take into consideration other links with Kyongsang province, like the origin of the family name or affiliations with regional associations. A comparison between our results and the study of Yang Songchol concerning a bigger group of high-ranking administrative elites shows how ruling elites originating from Kyongsang province have recruited more high-ranking administrative elites from their province than normally expected. We date the beginning of the co-option of elites originating in Kyongsang province from the Fourth Republic (19721980).
Session 45: ROUNDTABLE: The North Korea Crisis: Prospects, Problems, and Perspectives
Organizer and Chair: Susan L. Shirk, University of California, San Diego
Discussants: Victor D. Cha, Georgetown University; Charles K. Armstrong, Columbia University; Joel S. Wit, Center for Strategic and International Studies; David Kang, Dartmouth College
Hyperbole dominates the public discussion on North Korea. Extravagant stories about the idiosyncracies of the opaque leader Kim Jong-Il abound. Media reports from the Sino-Korean border of mass starvation evoke feelings of pity, disgust, and anger among the general public. Non-governmental groups and international relief organizations scream for the world to help. Conservative ideologues reject this and want to end the regime, pure and simple.
Policy on North Korea has become a political football. Kim Dae Jungs "sunshine policy" has become so politicized that one can no longer distinguish between criticisms of the policy and character assassinations of the former president. In the United States as well, engagement of North Korea and the Agreed Framework have become such a partisan issue that one cannot tell whether detractors object to merits of the policy or the policys association with the Clinton administration.
This roundtable will attempt to cut through the hyperbole and offer a variety of perspectives on the North Korea crisis. Each participant, a well-known Asia specialist, will offer a concise argument on North Korean intentions that will roughly divide along lines more sympathetic to engagement and to containment. Each participant will evaluate what appropriate steps need to be taken by the United States and its allies in Asia to avert disaster on the peninsula. In order to ensure a variety of different perspectives, participants were sought with expertise in China and South Korea, policymaking experience in the U.S. government, and from the disciplines of political science, history, and sociology.
Session 66: INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Issues in Contemporary Law, Politics, and Society
Organizer and Chair: Julian Ross Paul King, University of British Columbia
Sites of Memory and National History in South Korea
Guy Podoler, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Establishing a national history constitutes a central part in the creation of national identity. National history, promoted by governments, attempts to tackle challenges that derive from the nations unsettled present as well as from its troubled past. In postcolonial South Korea the unsettled present has been comprised of the existence of a rival regime in the peninsula; the need to write a history vis-à-vis Japan, the former colonizer, and its own concept of her troubled past; and, finally, the necessity to establish a stable society. The troubled past included the colonial period and the inability to face foreign intervention in the decades that had preceded it.
One important and potentially powerful form of narrating history is through concrete commemoration mnemonic sites that both commemorate and educate. In the present paper I analyze the layout, the exhibitions, and the brochures of four popular sites in South Korea: the Independence Hall, the War Memorial, the National Cemetery, and Sodaemun Prison History Hall. I describe crucial events that, in my view, have urged governments, since the 1980s and up to the late 1990s, to invest in solidifying their position at home and in affirming the countrys place in the international arena. I argue that this affected both the promotion of concrete commemoration and the contents of the historical narrative conveyed by this form of constructing memory, and I explain in what ways these characteristics deviate from previous trends in concrete commemoration and national history.
The Apology in Korean Dispute Settlement: Law, Culture, and Confucianism
Ilhyung Lee, University of Missouri
In 1991, the Constitutional Court of Korea ruled that a party may not be compelled to apologize as part of a court judgment. That decision prompted a response by a noted law commentator sharply criticizing the courts decision as inconsistent with Korean culture and values. Traditionally, Korean society has been described as one favoring conciliation and resolution, with a distaste for litigation. This is consistent with the Confucian regard for harmony and dignity. Yet recent commentary indicates that this traditional view may be outdated, and that Koreans (perhaps especially the emerging middle class) are becoming more willing to resort to court adjudication. The trend comes at a time when the Korean judiciary, the legal system, and the societal regard for the "rule of law" are in a state of flux, fueled in part by democratization, industrialization, and globalization efforts.
This paper will examine the apology in the Korean setting, including: a review of the traditional dispute resolution methods; the social construction of the apology, including its intended shaming effect; a brief comparative analysis of the apology in Korean and Western (American) settings; the continuing effect of the apology in a society with both deep rooted Confucian norms and plans for an international presence; and most importantly, the role of the apology in the resolution of legal disputes in contemporary Korea.
Relations between Civil Society, Political Society, and the State after Power Alternation in South Korea
Carl J. Saxer, University of Copenhagen
The purpose of this paper is, through a case study of South Korea, to analyze in detail developments in the relationship between civil society, political society, and the state after alternation in power has taken place. Many earlier studies of civil society in new democracies have shown its importance in democratic transition; however, few studies have examined how the relationship between civil and political society and the state develops after the initial transition. Civil society traditionally saw itself in opposition to the state and the ruling party and cooperated with the existing opposition parties. In return the ruling party saw itself as in opposition not only to other political parties but also to civil society, and it actively supported state suppression of dissidence arising from civil society.
This type of adversarial relationship can, if continued, delay later democratic consolidation. The paper compares two National Assembly Elections in South Korea, the first held in 1988 after democratic transition began and the other held in 2000 after an opposition candidate had won the presidential election for the first time. In both elections the sitting presidents party lost its majority in the National Assembly. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, I analyze and compare these two elections, and by this the paper seeks to discover if a relationship conducive to further democratic consolidation has developed or if the relationship developed during the authoritarian period has continued, just now with different parties in power.
Globalization and Local Sociality: An Ethnography of Young Koreans Use of Technology
Kyongwon Yoon, University of Sheffield
This paper based on ethnographic research looks at the articulation of local norms of sociality in the process of globalization, with a particular reference to young Koreans use of mobile phone technology.
The present paper concerns the way in which young Koreans reinforce and develop local norms of sociality, referred to in Korean as cheong, in order to cope with extended sociality in the globalizing world. On the basis of cheong, young people use mobile phone technology for maintaining harmonious relationships with peers and at the same time seek a "normal" route of transition into adulthood by the self-regulatory postponement of current individual interests in the consumption and appropriation of mobile technology. However, they do not only retreat to the established local norms but also define the boundaries of cheong for themselves, as they extend the scope of sociality in the process of transition to adulthood.
In conclusion, this paper suggests that young Koreans practice of maintaining and developing cheong reflects the way in which Koreans more generally have insulated themselves in the face of globalization, which has been perceived as the second wave of modernization in Korea. However, it also shows that local norms are not practiced in any one fundamental way but are negotiated in ongoing subjective processes.
Session 86: Restoring the Ecodiversity of Korean Colonial History: Multiple Realities and Negotiated Identities
Organizers: Koen De Ceuster, Leiden University; Kenneth Maurice Wells, Australian National University
Chair: Kenneth Maurice Wells, Australian National University
Discussant: Michael Robinson, Indiana University
Research on colonial period Korea has changed significantly over the last decade. Illustrated by the separate studies in Gi-Wook Shin and Michael Robinsons Colonial Modernity in Korea (Harvard University Press, 1999), one of the distinguishing features of this change is its "ecological handling of historical traces" (p. 5), ,as opposed to predominantly teleological nationalist historiography.
The four papers of this panel each offer insights into diverse aspects of colonial reality and examine how specific social groups and individuals came to terms with this reality. Following the agenda set by Shin and Robinson, and informed by the rapid development of new methodologies and the disclosure of non-traditional sources, these papers build their case on a respectful treatment of specific types of source materials. Rather than imposing a unilateral reading, they carefully listen to their sources, informed by sound theoretical knowledge, but attentive to the hazards posed in any reconstruction of historical reality. These papers trace the steps of their respective historical actors as they negotiate the multilayered reality of colonial life only to be confronted by agonizing choices in their compromise between ideals and reality.
Each case study raises important questions about the position of the historian, the selection and treatment of historical sources, and the use and misuse of theory. As such, this panel deals with the art of historiography and the need for a more empathetic approach to our sources and the dilemmas faced by the historical actors.
Contests of Power: Modes of Association Inside the Factories
Janice Kim, York University
When thumbing through colonial Korean newspapers, readers would be struck by the sheer frequency of labor strikes. Whereas in 1921, 36 strikes with 3,403 participants surfaced, by 1931, 201 strikes, involving 17,114 workers arose. In the first twenty years of Japanese rule, industrial capitalism, and its counterpart, labor activism, emerged and expanded. Mainly used as references to show imperialist and capitalist wrong-doings, most histories of colonial factory women abruptly end in the late 1930s, when repressive wartime policies suppressed labor activism. Thus, colonial workersespecially women and childrensymbolized the subjugation of class and nation.
In truth, female factory workers contests of power were neither for the working class nor for the nation. Earlier scholars depicted the colonial labor force as an anti-imperial, anti-capitalist front, but workers motivations were diverse. Familial needs, local ties, workshop norms, and factory alliances were more pervasive reasons for action. Furthermore, working womens avenues of empowerment were not limited to trade unionism or general strikes. Reconfiguring the flows of power inside factories illustrates that women, through their varied and fluid alliances with each other and with superiors, were able to improve their individual positions in the workshops and in the dormitories. As collectives, mill girls kept the balance of power inside the factories in constant flux through their everyday acts of calculated accommodation, foot-dragging, false compliance, deception, resistance, and outright defiance. Few were revolutionary, but their methods of association inside and outside the factories show that ordinary women of twentieth-century Korea were powerful and, thus, political.
Practicalities of Performance: Ways of Studying Popular Entertainment in Colonial Korea
Roald Maliangkay, University of Amsterdam
This paper discusses how studying the application and infrastructure of the early media may offer novel insights into the relationship between cultural industries and society in colonial Korea. The practical limitations of the early media technology constitute one aspect of the entertainment industry that significantly influenced the performances of Korean entertainers. Commercialism constitutes another, since to some extent it required the media owners to meet the demands of their target audiences. Studies of the cultural industries of the colonial period sometimes treat the output of the media as largely "colonial" in a diffusionist sense, suggesting that both Korean audiences and performers were to a large extent passive recipients of Japanese popular culture. In looking for expressions of Korean nationalism amid the great influence from Japan and the enormous popularity of Western cultural items every individual ambition is reduced to a cultural trait. Rather than concentrating primarily on the sociopolitical aspects of the industry, however, looking into the practical aspects of the developing technologies of film, photography, sound recording and radio may improve our understanding of the historical constraints. Such understanding sheds new light on the fast-changing criteria for entertainment as well as on the working conditions of performers. These confined and defined the ambitions of performing artists.
The One and the Many: Critical Issues in Korean Social Thought during the Colonial Era
Kenneth Maurice Wells, Australian National University
An individuals relation to society is a matter both of names and numbers, of reconciling the one and the many in a way that guards social integrity and individual dignity. During the colonial period, the idea grew that rule by a foreign power was a violation of national dignity, and a central tenet of the religious leaderships reform programs was that recovery of national integrity was linked to recovery of individual dignity.
Nevertheless, the idea of the nation being an analogue of the individual is problematic in the case of Protestantism in Korea at the time. Although there was a reasonably uniform position that nations, like individuals, had a right to be treated with dignity, there was no automatic parallel drawn between the individuals and the nations relation to social and political changes.
In this paper I argue that the relation that key Korean Protestant leaders drew between individual dignity and social well-being cannot properly be understood within the common framework of a defensive nationalism whose character has been determined in large part by the imperative to recover national rights as a sovereign state in a world of nation-states. Not only did the Protestants principle of individual dignity predate the annexation, they resisted the abridgement of individual and race, which fuses the behavior of individuals, or the ethical relation of the individual to the individual, with the behavior of abstract collectivities, or the ethical relation of the system to the system.
The Rich Tapestry of Life: On Reading and Rereading Yun Chihos Diaries
Koen De Ceuster, Leiden University
The application of social and cultural theory and its interest in less obvious audiovisual sources, niche publications, family histories, and the like have considerably thickened colonial period history. Rather than a politicized rehash of the heroic struggle of Korean resistance against Japanese oppression, these theories have focused on various cultural and socio-economic processes at work during the colonial period. Although the sociocultural void is now gradually being filled, the individual colonial subject with his/her ideas, motivations, and intentions remains as elusive as ever.
Beyond the institutional is the individual, who speaks to us through diaries, letters, or other testimonials. Such records are humbling reading for the historian, for they confront us with the human dilemmas faced by historical actors, pulled between public and private demands, torn between the trivial and the fundamental, pushed by resolve, but constantly nagged by doubt. No better example than the voluminous diaries of Yun Chiho (18651945), a key witness and at times active participant in the shaping of Koreas modern history. Since the National History Compilation Committee began the publication of his diaries in 1973, these have been rightly hailed as an important historical source. Publication of his diaries in turn led to an increased interest in this historical figure, although a comprehensive biography remains to this date to be written.
This paper reappraises Yuns diaries as a historical source and raises methodological questions about the way they have been used in previous research.
Session 104: The Pop/Traditional Interface in Contemporary South Korean Music
Organizer and Chair: Hilary V. Finchum-Sung, University of California, Berkeley
Discussant: Chan E. Park-Miller, Ohio State University
Keywords: music, South Korea, contemporary, popular, traditional.
The twentieth century hosted a period of dramatic change in Korean musical life. With the importation of Western music and implementation of media broadcasts, preexisting categorizations, and performance contexts dissolved, leaving confusion as to the place of Choson era (13921910) music in modern culture. Traditional and contemporary music became opposites on the musical spectrum with traditional genres epitomizing a bygone era and popular genres representing the influence of foreign culture. Now, stirred by a growing awareness of and pride in Korean cultural identity, South Korean musical life is witnessing an intersection between the popular and traditional. Whether through adapting traditional styles to fit popular tastes or referencing music as cultural capital, the demarcation between old and new is eluding its past clarity.
This panel examines volatile debates concerning identity and musical creativity. At the heart of these debates lies the music that inspires questions concerning ethical application of cultural imagery, ideals, and tropes. Three panelists will present papers on musical activities that exemplify the pop/traditional interface in South Korea. Identified as crossover, fusion, or revival, these activities represent the pursuit of an identifiably Korean popular music.
The panel encourages audience participation through dialogue. A discussant will tie together and comment on the presentations, and ample time will be dedicated to in-depth discussion. The focus of the panel moves beyond pure musical consideration to touch upon issues relevant to twenty-first-century South Korean cultural identity.
"Setting a Bridge": Revamping an Old Musics Image through the Allure of Tea
Hilary V. Finchum-Sung, University of California, Berkeley
Throughout most of South Koreas twentieth century the traditional diverged from the popular. Yet, for many, traditional culture signified a core Korean spirit, and its expressive forms have provided a performative outlet for Korean identity. Founded in 1982, the Society for New Composition in Korean Traditional Music made the advancement and promulgation of Korean music its primary goal. Since 1999, the Society has worked with assorted composers and musicians on a project aimed at integrating the music into South Koreans daily lives. The project plays on the South Korean publics recent fascination with the tea ceremony by constructing a bond between the music and tea, accentuating traditional musics equal indispensability to the contemporary Korean lifestyle.
This paper examines the stylistic and thematic implications of refurbishing a relatively unpopular musical form by connecting it to the newly established tea ceremony. Existing primarily within the realm of Buddhist practice over the last several hundred years, the tea ceremony has not played a historically prominent role in Korean culture. Yet, the tea ceremony has come to symbolically represent a restoration of Korean values, and the Society has taken advantage of the tea ceremonys current popularity in cultural circles to intensify its own agenda. In this presentation, I will address the inevitable controversies, rhetoric, and cultural politics embedded in the Societys "Setting a Bridge between Tea and Music" campaign.
MC Snipers "Hangugin" (Korean): Folk Music as Cultural Capital in South Korean Rap
Nathan Hesselink, Illinois State University
Released in May of 2003, South Korean rapper/ composer/producer MC Snipers CD Chohaeng (First Trip; Ponycanyon Korea) marked an important milestone in the use and marketing of Korean traditional culture and music in the popular arena. Official literature by the label promoted the album as the first true hybrid or fusion of traditional (folk) music and hip-hop, employing Korean instruments and related cover and liner art squarely within a hip-hop aesthetic. The title trackas well as first audio and video releasewas the song "Hangugin" (Korean), a composition featuring the prominent use of the folk instruments kayagum (plucked zither), ajaeng (bowed zither), and taegum (transverse flute).
While the referencing of folk music in popular genres has historical precedents, "Hangugin" distinguishes itself in a number of significant ways. Unlike previous such attempts, here there seems to be a real coming to grips with the ethos of folk music, one which results not in superficial sampling but a more holistic approach to sound, text, and imagery. Verses are acutely aware of the subtleties of Korean history, while the chorus and bridge texts speak openly of forging a new Korean identity, one that is confident, powerful, and eager to bid farewell to the trials of the past. This paper attempts to examine artists and industrys continuing and concerted embrace of traditional folk music as cultural capital, both economic and political.
Image Is Everything: The Balancing of Traditional and Modern Values among Korean Pop Singers
Heather Willoughby, Wittenberg University
In the mid-1980s, a singer by the name of NaMi became immensely popular in South Korea. Unlike other contemporary singers, she dressed in black leather jackets and mini-skirts, accessorized with garish costume jewelry, and wore heavy, dark eye-shadow and mascara. Living in Korea at the time, I had many conversations, particularly with teenaged girls, about NaMi, her image, and what was known of her life. The young women seemed mystified by NaMis strong character and bold fashion statements. They were enthralled by her music and the image of a wild, powerful woman. Yet, most did not personally approve of this image or have a desire to imitate it The young women suggested that although NaMi was innovative and interesting on stage, the performers personal life should not reflect the mediated image. In other words, performers were "allowed" to act out a part on stage, but their real life ought to be one of untainted virtue.
This paper discusses the dichotomous life of popular musicians in Korea. I will investigate the lives of some of todays popular singers and the physical images they present and represent. Central to the discussion is an understanding of how popular singers negotiate a balance between traditional and modern (including foreign) values and images. As musicians appropriate Western music and styles, they likewise infuse traditional ethics and sounds into their performances, creating a uniquely Korean music which, at times, blurs the lines of the ancient and modern.
Session 124: INDIVIDUAL PAPERS: Topics in Korean Religion
Organizer: Julian Ross Paul King, University of British Columbia
Chair: Donald L. Baker, University of British Columbia
Digging Up Buddhism: Folktales Affirming the Antiquity of Buddhism in Korea
James H. Grayson, University of Sheffield
The transmission of Buddhism into Korea in the fourth and fifth centuries led to an initial period of conflict between traditional Korean religious practices and Buddhism as a missionary world religion. There were various ways in which this conflict with traditional practices was resolvedthrough the repetition of tales of martyrdom and faithfulness to Buddhism, through the emphasis on the filiality of Buddhist adherents to their parents, and through the telling of folktales affirming that Buddhism, in a previous age, had been a pre-existent religion in Korea, although forgotten by the time of the telling of the tale. In this paper, I propose to look at this latter phenomenon. Several ancient and modern Korean tales describe the unearthing of Buddhist monuments and statues to affirm a Buddhist presence in the land prior to contemporary times (the time of the tale). This tradition of affirming the antiquity of Buddhism through the digging up of relics was a well-established folklore tradition in China before the Tang Dynasty which arose to demonstrate that the advent of Buddhism did not represent the intrusion of a foreign religion. In this paper, I will examine four Korean folktales belonging to this genre and discuss some of the Chinese precedents for the tale type in the general context of the transmission of religion from one culture to another.
The Relic Cult in Late Silla: Early Koryo (8th10th Centuries)
Sem Vermeersch, Independent Scholar
The cult of Buddhist relics in India, China, and Japan has recently begun to receive the attention it deserves. The collection, distribution, and veneration of the Buddhas physical remains is one of the most central aspects of the Buddhist religion, but it has often been overlooked in favor of the allegedly more authentic doctrinal teachings of the Buddha. The Buddhist relic cult was not a static phenomenon but a dynamic process constantly evolving in tune with the needs of the community of believers. Thus a gradual shift occurred in which the object of veneration was broadened to include symbolic representations next to the mere physical remains of Sakyamuni.
So far, however, the practice of relic cults in Korea has received scant attention. During the Unified Silla dynasty (668935), Buddhist relics were highly sought after, as both historical records and archeological remains prove. Initially China served as the main source for actual relics and practices, as Silla Buddhism developed in an organic interrelation with Tang China. Gradually, however, this connection became less clear, as the focus shifted towards sutras and the relics (sarira) of monks. In this paper, I will first of all map this shift in greater detail and then link it to the larger political and religious context.
Selling Shamanism on the Global Tourist Market
Kyoim Yun, Indiana University
Based on dissertation fieldwork I conducted on Jeju Island, South Korea, my paper explores how shamanism has been appropriated by the state, which seeks to promote Jeju as a commodity in the global tourism industry. In this paper, I present two main arguments: (1) political economy and vernacular religion are intimately enmeshed; and (2) the sacred and the commercial are neither mutually exclusive nor incompatible. In order to draw global attention and increase tourism, the provincial government has sponsored staged shamanic rituals at various international festivals. I illustrate such a ritual performed by "superstar" shamans through video footage and photographs. As a means of better understanding contemporary Jeju shamanism, I provide historical background about how a mystical fascination with the island and its shamanic tradition has been constructed in accordance with shifting Jeju, Korean, and transnational political and economic atmospheres. This historical description demonstrates how shamanic ritual, which was suppressed by the progress-driven government of the 1970s as pre-modern superstition, has now gained value as a "cultural commodity" on the global tourist marketwhere the more exotic and mystical a commodity appears, the better it sells.
A Hundred Years of Changes in the English Scholarship of Korean Shamanism
Liora Sarfati, Indiana University
It is widely accepted that the attitude towards shamans in Korea has changed during the past century from suspicion, ridicule, and even prosecution into respect and appreciation. This duality is apparent also in folkloristic and ethnographic accounts of Korean shamans. In this paper I explore this attitude shift in the context of geo-political processes and historical changes in the international cultural influence on Korea. I will point to changes in genres, styles, authors, and audience of English language publications.
Since the mid-1800s, Korean shamanism has been mentioned in almost every account of Korean culture written in English. Most English sources are absent from works by Janelli (1986), Kim Inhoe (1988), and In Kwon-hwan on the history of Korean Folkloristics. The scholarship in English sheds light especially on two important dimensions: the presentation of Korean culture to non-Korean audiences and the role Western visitors and scholars played in forging the image of Koreas national culture. The genres I discuss in my paper are: reference books, travel accounts, folktale collections, ethnographies, Korean governmental institutions publications, and government preservation programs.
I will show how differences among various perspectives on Korean shamanism reveal the link between the emerging nationalism in Korea and the development of Korean folklore studies. This interconnectedness between folklore and nationalism has been already observed and accounted for in other places. In this paper I chart its impact on the drastic changes in attitude towards Korean shamanism.
From Chinas I-Kuan Dao to Koreas Association of International Morality: Transformation of a Popular Religion in Transnational and Transitional Context in the 196070s
Jingzhi Liang, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Hojae Lee, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
I-Kuan Dao (Unity Way), a popular religion founded by Zhang Kuisheng in the north of China in 1930, though prohibited by the nationalist government first and then by the Communist Party, survived in Taiwan (with the modern exoteric name of Tian Dao, Celestial Way) and spread worldwide. In 1947, Kim En-sen and Kim Bok-Dang introduced I-Kuan Dao to Korea from Taiwan and established the Korean headquarters of I-Kuan Dao with the formation of the International Association of Morality (IAM) in 1953, which was registered formally as a non-governmental organization in 1961.
The former Chinas I-Kuan Dao, combining elements of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and the Lao Mu (longevity mother) concept in Chinese Baojuan (valuable books), was transformed to Koreas IAM deliberately and successfully. In 196070s, I-Kuan Dao, though still illegal in other countries, was legally practiced without limit in Korea as a religious movement. It was redesigned to adapt to Korean society with new liturgy and doctrines. Christian and native shamanism factors, and also the unification motif appeared in IAM. Along with its more and more widespread influence in Korean society, IAM transformed more and more quickly and smoothly with the transitional cultural, political, and economic surroundings of Koreas Miracle period. However, after the 20-year-long transitional period, IAM diminished gradually and actually became kind of insignificant.
This paper will trace the IAMs transformation from Chinas I-Kuan Dao and its historical impact after the change. A theoretical comparison and fieldwork results will be disclosed to interpret IAMs success and failure.
Session 144: Revisioning Colonial Modernity in Korea
Organizer: Hong Kal, Stanford University
Chair and Discussant: Linda S. Lewis, School for International Training
Keywords: Japanese colonialism, modernity, gender.
Issues pertaining to the period of Japanese colonialism have received significant attention from scholars of Korean Studies, both in Korea and abroad. However, the predominant focus among South Korean scholars has been to show Korean nationalist resistance to Japanese colonial exploitation. This has left unexplored the contingent, ambiguous, and even paradoxical aspects of colonialism in the formation of modern Korea.
The productive power of colonialism raises the questions of how Korean people perceived and shaped themselves as both "modern" and "Korean." While acknowledging Japanese colonial domination, this panel aims to take a different path by presenting specific ways in which the Japanese colonial situation created social and political possibilities for the construction of a new subjectivities. These three papers explore the construction of new political consciousness in colonial Korea through the conflicts, tensions, and negotiations around issues of modernity, nationalism, and gender identities.
Seeing Nation in the Colonial Exposition: The 1915 Korean Industrial Exposition
Hong Kal, Stanford University
This paper focuses on the unintended but striking effects of the colonial exposition in contributing to the emergence of the "new national consciousness" among Koreans. I look at the ways in which the 1915 Korean Industrial Exposition constituted, in the minds of the colonized, an imagination of nationhoodthe idea of a Korean nation (minjok). The main theme of this paper is the mutually constitutive relationships between modernity, colonialism, and nationalism in the space of the colonial exposition. I emphasize the centrality of the visual representation in shaping the culture of colonial modernity in Korea in the early twentieth century, the time of which was marked by a low literacy rate and a limited circulation of mass media such as newspapers, journals, and radio. I argue that the visual, spatial, and architectural representation of the colonial exposition plays a key role in contributing to the formation of national consciousness of the masses, who have hardly left any literary documents of their own. How did exhibitions, consumptions, and entertainment in the 1915 Korean Industrial Exposition offer opportunities for Koreans to participate directly and indirectly in the construction of colonial modernity in Korea? How did these modern cultural spectacles organized by the Japanese colonial government ironically provide Koreans a space to imagine and confirm "Korea" as a "nation"?
Kisaeng and Haenyo: Modern Working Women in Colonial Korea
Jennifer Jung-Kim, University of California, Los Angeles
Labor history is essential to the study of non-elites in modern Korean society. Yet Korean labor history of the colonial period has focused predominantly on the first generations of male and female factory workers. My paper examines two other groups of working womenkisaeng (courtesans) and haenyo (diver women). Although their occupations may have been old-fashioned, they nonetheless demonstrated a modern labor consciousness in their organization of labor groups and strikes.
For example, the 1929 kisaeng strikes show how they used modern strategies to address their grievances. And their magazine, Changhan (Lasting Regret, 1927), illustrates an attempt to disseminate their views through a modern medium.
On Cheju Island, the Cheju haenyo oop chohap (Cheju Diving Womens Fisheries Cooperative) was established to help divers, but it failed because of colonial restrictions on divers economic activities. The diver women responded by organizing a January 1932 strike with 3,381 participants, accounting for 42% of all divers on Cheju.
Although labor activism has often been politicized, it is not necessarily evidence of fervent nationalism or class consciousness. While we cannot overlook nationalist sentiment and the growing appeal of leftist ideologies, my premise is that working women were more motivated by everyday concerns such as fair pay and improved work conditions. Furthermore, by examining ways in which kisaeng and haenyo used modern means to deal with work issues, we can gain insight into the larger picture of how women negotiated modern gender identities.
Social Darwinism and Gender in Colonial Korea
Young-Sun Kim, State University of New York, Binghamton
This paper argues that social Darwinism, central to the discursive formation encompassing Japanese colonialism and Korean cultural nationalism, contributed to the reconfiguration of Korean patriarchy.
The practice of social hygiene at the everyday level positioned the colonial body as an object of civilization and Western medicine, appropriate to the colonial aim of producing healthy, individual "imperial subjects" (kokoku shimminka), and also to control the population in preparation for total war. As part of the cultural reform project, issues of hygiene and public health were also vigorously discussed by Korean nationalist intellectuals eager to overcome the explicit inferiority of colonial material conditions.
In the context of colonial modernity, the role of the Korean female as child-bearer within the private spherehomewas reconfigured and prioritized as "wise mother and good wife" (hyonmo yangcho) and womens reproduction became reconstituted and controlled in order to ensure the quality of future generations of the Japanese empire and Korean nation.
By suggesting "gender/body/sexuality" as an analytical dimension in the discourse on eugenics and social hygiene, this paper argues that Korean colonial modernity was not a fixed structure but a reconstitution of Neo-Confucian patriarchal relations in a process of destructive constructiveness derived from continual and mutual relations among nationalism, racism, colonialism, and modernity relative to the making of Koreanness as an imagined fraternal community and a collective gendered national subject.
Session 164: Print Culture and Political Representation in Colonial Korea
Organizer: James P. Thomas, McGill University
Chair: Alexis Dudden, Connecticut College
Discussants: Alexis Dudden, Connecticut College; Donald N. Clark, Trinity University
Keywords: Korea, history, anthropology, religion, print culture.
Print culture in colonial Korea evoked new images of race, religion, gender, health, religion, urbanity, modernity, and globalism, which reflected the interface between "Japanese," "Korean," and "Western" categories as categories of national and cultural identity. How did the content of print media contribute to the ideology of cultural assimilation or its idealization? How did changes in the contents and institutional structures of print culture influence cultural and national identities within the Korean peninsula, and vice versa? Our examination reveals that the boundaries of culture and identity are quite blurry indeed.
Mark Caprio will examine Japanese medical reports that sought to set Koreans apart from the Japanese on the basis of Korean illnesses and physiology. Seeking to promote their research internationally, Japanese medical scholars linked these reports to Western scholarship aimed at distinguishing the physiology of the peoples of the West from the rest. James P. Thomas is concerned with the nature of visual images and how they serve to promote cultural ideals. What were the political and ideological contents of colonial-period advertisements, and were they consistent with the aims of colonial policy? Chong Bum Kim will analyze late dynastic and colonial Protestant activity (18841945) and its influence on the Korean printing industry and on Korean national identity. He finds that Western missionaries and Korean converts "drew a sharp line between religion and politics, and attempted to create a sphere of activity independent of both the Korean nationalist and Japanese imperialist agendas," a sphere of Christian universalism.
Medical Research and the Formation of Japanese Images of Koreans under Colonial Rule
Mark Caprio, Rikkyo University
One technique often employed by colonial powers to justify their subordination of a people was the manipulation of scientific methodology and description to render them as inferior. Conclusions drawn in medical reports throughout the thirty-five-year period of Japanese rule in Korea display an evolving set of representations that this colonized people drew of the people under its administration. These representations contributed to a larger mosaic of images that depicted the Korean as inferior. This portrayal appeared to contradict the administrations rhetoric, which advertised the people as appropriate for assimilation as Japanese subjects. Medical research conducted over this period matured from the second decade of colonial rule to offer observations that depicted this people in terms of their similarities to, rather than their differences with, the Japanese people. This presentation will examine the contribution that colonial medical journals made to the growing body of print culture in Korea under Japanese rule. It will first consider this literature in terms of how it benefited from an extended global body of medical research, as well as similar research conducted by Japanese in other parts of their empire. It will then examine the contribution that it made to the composite representation that the Japanese developed of the Korean people. Finally, it will consider the evolution of this research over the period of Japanese occupation of this territory. To what extent did these reports change in concert with (or in defiance of) alterations found in other Japanese representations of this people?
Social Representations in Advertising Images of Colonial Korea
James P. Thomas, McGill University
Japans colonial occupation of Korea ushered in a bold new genre of visual imagery (of race, class, gender, romance, urbanity, scientism, and modernity) in the new medium of print advertising. Yet, such imagery remains largely unexamined compared to newly emergent literary forms, administrative policy impacts, and intellectual discourses on cultural and national identity. Using a sampling of print advertisements taken from the Tong-A Ilbo and elsewhere, this research seeks to analyze the temporal evolution of technical elements and cultural themes in ads of colonial Korea. The visual illustrations of ads for everything from bath soap to nylon stockings and magazine subscriptions changed dramatically over the period of colonial occupation and came to look strikingly modern toward the end of that era. We will explore the time and aesthetic parameters of this change. Ad imagery provides a glimpse into the world of consumer goods and aspirations, reflecting many of the rapidly emerging attitudes and practices of fashion of early 20th-century Korean life. In fact, a case can be made that the consumption of ad images is just as significant as that of store-bought products, in so far as these images whetted the appetite and served as "goods of aspiration." We are concerned particularly with the interface and interplay between "Japanese" and "Korean" cultural mages and categories. What was the political and ideological content of these ads and was it consistent with the aims of colonial policy? How did cultural ideals aimed at Korean consumers/viewers contribute to cultural assimilation or its idealization?
Beyond Nation, Beyond Empire: Protestant Print Culture in Colonial Korea
Chong Bum Kim, Harvard University
Protestants pioneered modern printing in Korea, establishing the first private Western-style printing press in 1889 and producing some of the earliest modern journals and newspapers. During the Japanese colonial period (19101945), Protestant publishing activity expanded and flourished. From Bibles and religious tracts to periodicals and scholarly works, the proliferation of Protestant literature went hand in hand with the rapid spread of the new religion on the peninsula.
This paper examines the relationship between Protestant print culture and the colonial context, focusing on The Korea Mission Field: A Monthly Journal of Christian Progress, the longest-running and most comprehensive Protestant periodical of the time. Protestantism has often been seen as an ally of Korean nationalism in its struggle against Japanese imperialism. Korean Protestants figured prominently among nationalist leaders, and Western missionaries sympathized with the plight of their Korean converts. But this tells only part of the story. Indeed, few Protestant publications from the colonial period can properly be labeled "nationalist." And censorship provides only part of the explanation. A more significant reason for the relative absence of nationalism in Protestant print culture was that its primary objective was religious, not political. Propagating and nurturing the Christian faith took precedence over liberating the Korean nation. Toward this end, Western missionaries and Korean Protestants alike drew a sharp line between religion and politics, and attempted to create a sphere of activity independent of both the Korean nationalist and Japanese imperialist agendas.
Session 184: Use of Tansong Household Registers as a Source for the Social History of Choson Korea
Organizer: Kuen tae Kim, Sungkyunkwan University
Chair and Discussant: Martina Deuchler, University of London
Keywords: Choson Korea, household registers, social classes, single surname villages, marriage practices.
The Choson government compiled household registers every three years in order to ensure efficient tax collection. It is generally known that not all households and their members were recorded in household registers, even though any omission in reporting them was not tolerated in law codes. That was because household registers primarily served as a basis for imposing household and military taxes rather than for census statistics. Consequently, it is estimated that the Choson household registers keep personal data of only about half of the whole population. Nevertheless, the population that was entered into household registers provides the most comprehensive personal data on birth, marriage, reproduction, death, and occupational obligation to the state in a given area. Considering these characteristics of household registers, this panel attempts to show both the limits and the advantages in drawing on the household registers of Tansong Prefecture to understand social groups and demographic trends in the late Choson period.
The first presenter, Byeong-gyu Son, attempts a critical evaluation of Tansong household registers as source materials for explaining changes in social classes. He points out that past scholars mistakenly equated registered status (i.e., occupational obligations) with social classes, thus reaching unrealistic conclusions about social change in the late Choson era. The second and third presenters attempt constructive usage of the household registers. Nae-hyun Kwon shows how Tansong household registers can be tapped to explain the evolution of single surname villages in that area. Kuen-tae Kim shows how data about marriage practices in the household registers support the thesis that early marriage and remarriage of women was one major social strategy to enhance birth rates in the late Choson period. The view of a less structured society in late Choson is presented by the fourth paper by Mark Peterson and Kerk Philips who found from the Tansong data the weak barrier between commoners and slaves through intermarriage as well as the tendency of illegitimate sons of aristocrats to slip into commoner status. Hence, the panel has dual aims: to point out the past mistakes in using household registers and to present alternative ways to use them for productive results.
Some Limits of Tansong Household Registers as a Social Historical Source in Late Choson Korea
Byeong-gyu Son, Sungkyunkwan University
This paper examines limits of Tansong household registers as source materials for illuminating social changes in the late Choson dynasty. First, it questions the validity of Tansong household registers in using them to identify the changes in social classes. Since the pioneering study of Shikata Hiroshi in the late 1930s, occupational obligations in household registers have been equated with social classes, leading to the widely accepted theory that there had been rapid upward mobility of commoners into the yangban class as well as a sharp decline in the slave population in the late Choson period. But Tansong household registers show that total numbers of each category of occupational obligations reflected the shifting commitment of the state to household administration rather than actual changes in society. When the Choson government began to introduce a quota system of tax allocation among its local administrative units from the mid-eighteenth century, the local officials became perfunctory in establishing each individuals occupational obligation. Consequently, a large number of commoners were allowed to assume new occupational obligations hitherto reserved for the yangban class.
Second, this paper calls attention to the fact that in Tansong household registers, a considerable number of slaves were omitted. The fact can be verified by cross-checking the household registers against the wills of yangban families which prove that they possessed many unregistered slaves, especially female slaves. Hence, the theory of a sharp decline in the slave population based on household registers should be modified in consideration of underreporting of private slaves, as is shown in Tansong household registers.
Single Surname Villages in the Tansong Area in Late Choson Korea
Nae-hyun Kwon, Sungkyunkwan University
Single surname villages were the dominant form of community in the traditional Korean countryside. Single surname villages began to spread in the countryside from about the seventeenth century, when yangban families began to settle at certain localities so as to build permanent bases for generations to come. In the late Choson period, single surname villages comprised of descendants from illegitimate sons of yangban or from commoners appeared. Japanese colonial rule did not disrupt their existence, as more than twenty thousand such villages were reported at that time. Their survival was threatened only recently by the massive population movement after the industrialization and urbanization starting in the early 1960s.
As Tansong household registers at a given time provide combined information on residence and ancestry of living residents, the existence of individual single surname villages can be identified. When studied in chronological sequence, Tansong household registers can provide data for writing history of an individual single surname village from its early settlement to later growth. In addition, through the records of a wifes ancestry in the household registers, one can examine marriage ties between single surname villages. Thus, Tansong household registers can be utilized in a productive way to trace the evolution of Korean single surname villages in the late Choson era.
Early Marriage and Remarriage of Women in the Tansong Area in Late Choson Korea
Kuen-tae Kim, Sungkyunkwan University
It has been assumed that one major factor leading to the increase of population in traditional Korea was the high birth rate and that early marriage had been encouraged to achieve that purpose. As a result, the average marriage age in the early twentieth century was reported to be 16.4 years in the case of females. This paper proves that early marriage and remarriage of women had been an established social strategy to enhance the birth rate in the late Choson period through examining records of marriage age and remarriage found in Tansong household registers.
This paper also compares marriage practices among social groups like yangban, commoners, and slaves in order to find out that early marriage or remarriage of women had relevance to particular social status. The result of the study shows that early marriage cut across the division of social status and that prohibition against the remarriage of women was more or less confined to yangban widows. The general trend of early marriage and tolerance of womens remarriage in late Choson society was to increase the population to meet the needs of labor-intensive agriculture.
Demographic Measurements of the Tansong Census Data: Who Is Marrying Whom and What Does It Say about Social Statuses?
Mark Peterson, Brigham Young University; Kerk Philips, Brigham Young University
This paper looks at the Tansong census data by using demographic and econometric analysis and reveals a society much less structured than we had supposed. Although there are questions of under-reporting, we attempt see where the underreporting occurred by creating population trees representing different status and gender groups.
The most interesting result to jump out of the statistics is the degree of intermarriage between the commoners and slaves. Indeed, the assumed barrier between aristocrats and commoners was in place, but the barrier between commoners and slaves was almost non-existent, causing us to re-think our understanding of traditional status divisions.
Other status categories such as the illegitimate sons of the aristocrats form another interesting status group for examination. The number of illegitimate sons that maintained trappings of aristocracy were very few, while most slipped into commoner status and a few into slave status.
Session 204: Competing Claims of Modernization: Anti-Developmentalism, Industrialization, and Regionalism in 1960s South Korea
Organizer, Chair, and Discussant: Namhee Lee, University of California, Los Angeles
Keywords: South Korea, modernization, nationalist historiography, industrialization, regionalism, capital control.
Since the Park Chung Hee government introduced the first Five-Year Economic Plan in 1962, modernization has been exalted in South Korea as the supreme goal of the nation and the individual. The Park government was the first postcolonial modern state capable of simultaneous and contradictory efforts to emancipate and subjugate its citizenry through the project of modernization. We will explore the divergent processes and practices of the 1960s development by looking at the nationalists claim of anti-developmentalism (Yang), regionalism (Sonn), and capital control (K. Lee). Woo Jin Yang reexamines the pivotal moments of the 1960s, the April 19th Uprising and May 16th military coup, and provocatively argues that both events, contrary to the claims of nationalist historians as having opposing aims and effects, gave rise to a new kind of nationalist mobilization. Jung Won Sonn argues that regionally unequal industrial policy, despite its origin as a product of a politically authoritarian strategy, was economically rational and was an integral part of South Korean developmentalism. Kangkook Lees paper deals with foreign capital management policy in the 1960s and suggests that the states capital control was essential to the developmental strategy. Finally, Namhee Lee as a discussant will explore possible theoretical connections between the academic efforts to rethink the 1960s developmentalism and the contemporary popular discourse and practices of the "Park Chung Hee syndrome," in which nostalgia for the 1960s as a golden era backed by strong state leadership is increasingly gaining support. The diverse disciplinary background of the panel members will bring interdisciplinary insights to the complexities and contradictions of the 1960s developmentalism.
Rethinking Nationalist Historiography: A Reconsideration of the April 19th Uprising and the May 16th Military Coup
Woo Jin Yang, Hanshin University
Industrialization and democratization were two main facets of Korean modernization in the late 20th century. The April 19th Uprising (4.19) and May 16th Military Coup (5.16) opened a new era for the nationalist agenda of self-reliance. Initiated in the early 1960s by the coup leaders, constructing a self-reliant national economy changed Korea into one of the most industrialized countries. However, the process of industrialization was by no means smooth. The split among nationalist leaders in the mid-60s around the issue of how to construct a national economy brought about a sustained antigovernment movement. Nationalist dissidents formed a unique position of nationalist historiography, taking the history of modern Korea as a history of absence, which is full of negative evaluations of the modernization process. Reflecting the conflict between regimes and dissidents, the two historical moments, 4.19 and 5.16, have been considered as contradictory and opposing to each other in the writings of nationalist historiography. As South Korea was becoming more industrialized and democratized in the 1990s, it became urgent to reevaluate the process of modernization. I reconsider 4.19 and 5.16 in this changing context and suggest that the two should be understood not as opposing, irreconcilable moments but as successive ones opening a new matrix for nationalist mobilization. To this end, I first analyze the nature of the conflict between regimes and dissidents in the long-term context of late modernization. I then introduce new studies that try to dismantle the myth around the two historical moments. I believe this is a way to criticize the position of the new ruling group in Korea, which privileges the antigovernment democratization movement.
The Emergence of a Regionally-Uneven Strategy of Development in South Korea, 19631972
Jung Won Sonn, University of California, Los Angeles
Regionalism in Korea has been attracting attention from academic communities inside and outside Korea. However, few scholars have attempted to contextualize regionalism in the overall development strategy of the Korean state. This paper analyzes regional policy in the 1960s and its political background so as to show that regionalism was an integral part of the developmentalism in Korea. The beginning of the regionally-uneven strategy was the designation of Special Industrial Estates to which the state provided state-funded infrastructure and tax breaks in 1965 and subsequent years. The Park Administration chose Ku-Ro district, Bu-Pyung district, and Ulsan, places in the capital region and Kyungsang region. The process of designation was authoritarian without social consensus but, economically, they were reasonable choices. Ku-Ro and Bu-Pyung were abundant in low-wage labor for non-durable consumer industries such as the garment and shoe industries, the most feasible candidates for export industries at that time. Ulsan is a seaport close to Japan and had water, electricity, and other necessities for heavy industries. Before a decade passed, these three places attracted numerous businesses and became centers of export economy. Furthermore, these places continued to be important nodes in Seoul-Kyungsang axis of development until the 1990s. This economically rational but politically authoritarian strategy of regionally-biased development was backed by the strong alliance between central political elites and Yung-Nam elites. In the 1960s, President Park, himself from Yung-Nam, shared some of the political power with Kim Sung-Gon and other political elites of Yung-Nam. Elites from other regions, Honam in particular, were excluded from power.
Liberalization, Economic Growth, and Control of Capital in South Korea in the 1960s
Kangkook Lee, Ritsumeikan University
In this paper, I examine the foreign capital management policy of South Korea in the 1960s. The dominant argument is that liberalization and the opening of markets provide economic success and that liberalization is recommended all over the world. However, it is not clear in the case of the financial market. Still most empirical studies report that there is no evidence that capital account liberalization spurs growth in developing countries. Capital account liberalization can cause instability or, as in South Korea, help economic development. Thus, more extensive study about the case of capital controls is called for. In the case of South Korea, the government successfully implemented the controls as one important part of the development strategy.
This paper consists of three parts. In the first section, I examine the current arguments about capital controls. I review the mainstream and opposing arguments and show how capital controls may help growth under some conditions. The next section examines the experience of foreign capital management in South Korea. The strong capital control regime was established as early as the 1960s and continued up to the late 1980s. However, the government also actively encouraged foreign borrowing with its guarantee. I will study specific institutional structures and the political economy behind the successful controls of the 1960s. By doing so, I hope to shed important light on how the controls are related to the industrial policy and domestic financial controls for economic development.