Critical Issues Forum Explores the Transpacific Cold War

photo: Heonik KwonUni­ver­si­ty 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.