Seungsook Moon - Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Vassar College, and Visiting Fellow, Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University (Academic Year 2005-2006)
This lecture addresses the South Korean path to modernity closely interwoven with Cold War politics and militarization. In particular, approaching modernity as a “key word” (a la Raymond Williams) whose meaning is not entirely fixed, Professor Moon examines the gendered making and remaking of membership in the modern nation. Initially, the Korean state massively mobilized women and men to be dutiful members of the nation and in the process constructed women as reproducers /marginal producers and men as soldiers/producers. An unintended consequence of such gendered mobilization by military regimes was the emergence of a new type of political membership among different groups of women and men which can be understood as citizenship characterized by struggle to obtain rights.