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Nam Center Colloquium Series | ‘War Is the Force That Gives Us Meaning’: Militarized Queerness, Racial Masking, and the Korean War Mascot

Christine Hong, Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) and Literature, University of California Santa Cruz
Tuesday, December 5, 2023
4:00-5:30 PM
Room 1040 Multipurpose Room LSA Building Map
Please note: This session is planned to be held both in-person and virtually EST through Zoom. This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Once you've registered, the joining information will be sent to your email.

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Revisionist attempts to recuperate the Korean War as a pioneering civil rights advance have left to the side the U.S. war machine’s flexible incorporation of Korean “orphans” and other forms of nonnormative life, even though such examples of GI “humanitarianism” were widely propagated in their moment. Although presented as objects of rescue, mascots were mobilized in dangerous roles that marked their militarized collusion and recalled their original status as permissible targets of war violence. Although propagated as proof of the U.S. military’s colorblind humanitarianism, the Korean War mascot, as indigenous life made over as potential adoptee, thus demands theorization as an object of colonial conquest. As a war remnant, a singularity whose obverse was the mass casualty, the Korean mascot hovered in a gray zone between friend and enemy as a form of queer life.

Christine Hong is Professor of Critical Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES) and Literature. She directs the Center for Racial Justice at UC Santa Cruz, serves on the board of directors of the Korea Policy Institute, an independent research and educational institute, co-chairs the UC Ethnic Studies Faculty Council, and co-edits the Critical Ethnic Studies journal. Her book, A Violent Peace: Race, Militarism, and Cultures of Democratization in Cold War Asia and the Pacific, was published by Stanford University Press in 2020. Along with Deann Borshay Liem, she co-directed the Legacies of the Korean War oral history project. She also co-edited a two-volume thematic issue of Critical Asian Studies on Reframing North Korean Human Rights (2013-14); a special issue of positions: asia critique on The Unending Korean War (2015); and a forum of The Abusable Past on “White Terror, ‘Red’ Island: A People’s Archive of the Jeju 4.3 Uprising and Massacre.”

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: LSA Building
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Korea
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Nam Center for Korean Studies, International Institute, Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Program, Department of American Culture, Asian Languages and Cultures