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Persistence of the Cold War Regime, the Discourse of Triumphalism, and the “Public Use of History” in South Korea

Namhee Lee, Associate Professor of Modern Korean History at UCLA 
From the Kim Yong Sam government’s call for “rectification of history” which began with the demolition of the former Japanese Governor-General building in 1995 to the “Park Chung Hee syndrome” of the 1990s to the recent textbook controversy, South Korea in the recent years has experienced an explosion of debates about mobilization of history for “political”—or public?—use. Rather than to reconstruct the course of this widely discussed events, or to substantiate or disprove the relative truth of the claims and counterclaims of historical representations of the related periods, this paper looks at various debates as a window through which to explore the status of historical consciousness and its related questions on the relationship among history, public memory, and politics of history in contemporary South Korea.



Tuesday, March 3, 2015. 04:15 PM


Lathrop East Asia Library, Room 224, 518 Memorial Way


Center for East Asian Studies