Politics of Health / Medicine, post 1945

I’ve been thinking again about the broader issue of beginning to approach the South Korean post-colonial state and post-1945 medicine, recognizing the immense problems that this presents. Even leaving aside lengthy traditons of shamans and religious healers of varying persuasions, if we restrict medicine to two loose clusters–한의학 and biomedicine–then minimally this leaves us with […]

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Generating Power–Electric, hydroelectric, thermal (coal), atomic

I’m back once again to this question of electricity and power in its various forms, as I think the long-term story of generating power in NE Asia (1880’s-present), and specifically on the Korean peninsula, sheds some interesting light on the transnational history of the contested region, this in distinct contrast to the individual national histories […]

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“Prosthetic Memories”

Seungsook Moon at Japan Focus has an interesting historiographical essay about the contested life and legacy of Park Chung Hee, who led Korea through the 60s and 70s. The debate is particularly interesting because it parallels discourses which are ongoing in other post-dictatorial societies, including the debates about Stalin in Russia, Mao and Deng in […]

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“Mass-based dictatorship”? A little info on S. Korea’s welfare policies in the 1960s

In South Korean academia, one of the most long-standing and productive discussions (I have been following it for around 3 years now, but it may have begun even earlier) is that between Prof. Lim Chihyŏn (임지현, 한양대학교), who maintains (to make a very complicated story as simple as possible) that Park Chung Hee’s regime was […]

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4.19 and 5.18: spot the difference

In lieu of actually providing some original content myself (soon…), can I point our patient readers once again toward the excellent blog Gusts of Popular Feeling, where Matt has provided a fascinating comparison of photographs of the uprisings that took place in Seoul in April 1960 and Kwangju in May 1980. The similarities between the […]

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