Memory Politics and Memory Drama

Jordan Sand’s A Year of Memory Politics in East Asia: Looking Back on the “Open Letter in Support of Historians in Japan” is immensely timely: I spent a few hours just yesterday arguing with people on twitter about the Comfort Women issue. I had tweeted about a new documentary, testimony from some surviving women, and […]

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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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Non-Orientalizing Colonial Ethnography

I am re-visiting reprints of a journal called Korean Social Work (『朝鮮社会事業』), which colonial bureaucrats and social reformers in Korea published nearly every month between 1923 and 1944. The articles were written mostly in Japanese, and many of the authors (both Korean and Japanese) expressed, just like the social bureaucrats in the Home Ministry in […]

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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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