井底之蛙

10/19/2010

Korean ethno-nationalism and sappy TV dramas

Filed under: — gina @ 5:11 pm

I’m currently TAing for a class on Modern Korean history, and we just finished discussing the concept of minjok (民族 or minzu in Chinese) as it related to Korean nationalism and the creation of a national history.  Andre Schmid discussed the creation of the minjok paradigm in the early twentieth century among Korean nationalist historians, outlining the various ways they conceptualized a Korean history based on ethnicity. To me, the most interesting story of the Korean ethnic genealogy involved tracing the descendants of the mythical ancestor Tan’gun to lineages and tribes that inhabited land off the peninsula, allowing this particular historian, Kim Kyohon, to claim the tribes in the North and their dynasties, the Liao, Jin, and Qing, as Korean. In other words, the 1644 defeat of the Ming by the Qing marked the beginning of the “Choson-Qing” period, or the Southern Choson and the Northern Qing. The Qing, in this narrative, is Korean (this can be found in Korea Between Empires, pages 195-196).

Unfortunately, my students did not find this nearly as awesome as I did, so I post it here. And, not surprisingly, the battle is not over. This post by Martin Lewis takes us to today, when arguments between China and Korea over Korean melodramas continue the historical battle over ethnicity, nationalism, and legitimate claims to history.

A new resource

Filed under: — gina @ 4:42 pm

For those who would like to read about new research in Chinese history without having to drudge through proquest, please check out a new website, Chinese History Dissertation Reviews. It’s a series of reviews of recently defended doctoral dissertations in Chinese history, offering a summary of the main arguments, the historiographical genealogy to which the author responds, and a list of the major archives/sources used in the dissertation. We would love to hear all of your feedback!

http://dissertationreviews.wordpress.com/

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