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CKS Colloquium Series 2007-08/Keun Sik Jung, Professor, Seoul National University

Wednesday, April 9, 2008
12:00 AM
1080 S. University/Suite 1664/International Institute

A Century of Hansen's Disease (Leprosy) in Korea

The history of Hansen's Disease in modern Korea opens up provocative lines of inquiry involving questions of state-power, citizenship, minority empowerment, and the body. Reviled and feared as lepers in traditional times, patients of Hansen's Disease became the object of the colonial government's attempt to articulate, isolate, and institutionalize the "other"--and potentially dangerous--body under Japan's rule in the first half of the twentieth century. Following the end of the colonial rule, these patients suffered a checkered fate within the shifting political tides carried by the wind of nation-building in post-liberation and post-war South Korea. Prof. Jung will present oral interviews and photographs collected over a decade of research as he discusses what he calls "the dissonance of times" revealed in the stories of people whose very bodies bear witness to the elusive quest for social justice.