By highlighting the experiences of diasporic Koreans in the Japanse imperial military, the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, and the military forces of the newly created Korean nation-states this lecture explores the meanings of military service, citizenship, and national identity. Based on the oral histories of seven ethnic Koreans from China and the United States, the lecture probes the complex entanglements arising from their experiences of colonialism, war, nation-building, and migration. Part of a larger project on Korean diaspora, this lecture demonstrates the ongoing significance of the war for Koreans globally and the ways in which the politics of division force individuals to reassess their relationship to the two Koreas and reconsider what it means to be Korean.
Ji-Yeon Yuh is an associate professor of history at Northwestern University. She specializes in Asian American history and Asian diasporas and is the author of Beyond the Shadow of Camptown: Korean Military Brides in America (New York University Press, 2002). A history of Korean women who immigrated to the United States as the wives of U.S. soldiers, this work examines the dynamics of race, culture, gender and nationalism from the perspective of Korean military brides. Her current book project examines policies toward minority ethnic groups and their impact on the development of community and identity, as well as the ways in which experiences of Koreans in the diaspora are connected and divided by the history of the Korean peninsula in the twentieth century. She is a native of Seoul and Chicago, a former journalist, and a fan of pungmul.
Cosponsored by the U-M Department of History
This program is also made possible in part by a Title VI grant from the US Department of Education.
Ji-Yeon Yuh, Associate Professor, Department of History, Northwestern University