University of Cambridge scholar Heonik Kwon will deliver two presentations in the Center for Korean Studies Forum on Critical Issues in Korean Studies February 20 – 21, 2014. Kwon is professorial senior research fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and previously taught social anthropology at the London School of Economics. He is the author of After the Massacre, which received the inaugural Clifford Geertz prize from the American Anthropological Association, and Ghosts of War in Vietnam, winner of the George Kahin prize from the Association for Asian Studies. His recent works include The Other Cold War (2010) and North Korea: Beyond Charismatic Politics (2012, co-authored).
The Center’s Critical Issues forum was inaugurated in 2010 to bring outstanding scholars from around the world to the Mānoa campus for discussions of important contemporary topics. The format of the two-day event includes a public lecture on the first day and a presentation in a seminar setting on the second day.
The topic of Kwon’s lecture on Thursday, February 20, is “The Transpacific Cold War.” In it, he will examine some of the semantic contradictions embedded in the idea of the Cold War and explore the merits of a pluralist approach to Cold War history. The discussion will include consideration of the political crisis of family lives during and after the Korean War, on the one hand, and, on the other, ideas and metaphors of kinship that were constitutive of the making of the Cold War political orders in the region across the ideological divide. The lecture will take place in the Center’s auditorium beginning at 4:00 p.m.
The second-day presentation, on Friday, February 21, will address “North Korea’s Legacy Politics.” Kwon will explore the historicity of North Korea’s unique contemporary mode of power succession, which is referred to in North Korea as legacy politics. In doing so, he will delve further into the political appropriation of kinship ideas in the unfolding of Cold War politics. This event will take place in the Center’s conference room beginning at 4:00 p.m.
This event is free and open to the public. The Center for Korean Studies is located at 1881 East-West Road on the University of Hawai‘i Mānoa campus. Paid parking is available in the parking lot mauka of the CKS building. For further information, including information about access for the handicapped, telephone the Center for Korean Studies at (808) 956‑7041.