AMST 298, EAST 398, ER&M 288
Remembering the Korean War
The Korean War, though often narrated as a “forgotten war” and a “police action,” marks a crucial period in the US imperial expansion into Asia. This course proceeds from the recognition that the Korean War remains ongoing, and asks how to “remember” the violent and unresolved legacies of the “hot” wars that have constituted the cold war in Asia. How have the Korean War and its legacies shaped the relationship between militarism and empire? How has warfare conditioned the movements and lives of the Korean diaspora? And how might the work of Korean and Asian American activists and cultural workers help us move toward a decolonial genealogy of the transpacific? While we consider problems of mainstream US historiography in narrating the Korean war, this interdisciplinary course takes a cultural studies approach in attending to the racialized and gendered legacies of a war that continues to condition the present. Themes include: overlapping US and Japanese imperialisms; Cold War nationalisms; cultures of militarism and warfare; tourism; race, gender, and labor; Asian American and Asian studies; migration and immigration; and diasporic memory.