Asian Studies Seminar | Political Violence and Mass Grief

16 October, 2013
5.0 - 6.30pm

Dr Su-Kyoung Hwang
Department of Korean Studies, The University of Sydney

This presentation examines the legacies of political violence during the Korean War. While violence happened on all sides, civilian casualties arising from counterinsurgency warfare—such as preemptive executions and aerial bombings—resulted in overkill.  A disproportionately high number of the victims were civilians, whose identities were not always political. Yet, in the aftermath of the violence, their stories were suppressed during the decades of authoritarian rule in South Korea and erased from the mainstream historical consciousness. Based on interviews conducted in 2007, this paper discusses the experience of wartime survivors and their feelings of grief and fear. This project is particularly concerned with the emotional responses to mass political violence and how they shape the ethos of a (post-) cold war democracy.

Dr Su-kyoung Hwang is a lecturer in Korean studies department. Her research and teaching interests include Korean history and literature, war and violence, and gender studies. She is currently working on a project that examines the legacies of the Korean War violence in civilian life. Before coming to Sydney, she taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Location: SLC Common Room 524, level 5 Brennan MacCallum Building A18

Contact:Dr Eileen Rose Walsh
Phone: 61 2 9351 6770