34. Memory, History, and Hero Production—A Case from P’yŏngan Province
You are cordially invited to the 34th Kyujanggak colloquium. Our speaker is Prof. Sunjoo Kim (Havard University), and the topic of her presentation is "Memory, History, and Hero Production—A Case from P’yŏngan Province"
Date: Tuesday 21 Jul. 2009, 16:00-18:00Venue: Conference room 112, Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies AbstractNumerous scholarly works on “memory projects” as the culture and politics of nation-states in the modern world have been produced. Yet remaking of the past is not the monopoly of modernity. This paper investigates the problem of engineering memory in Chosŏn Korea. In particular, I examine the emergence of new cultural imagery built by the state and its “national” elites to legitimate the state’s rule and its position in the changing environment of East Asia. This “national” project involved intellectual movements to revisit and rewrite Chosŏn Korea’s historical past. At the same time, I explore the construction of cultural identity by local elites in their efforts to claim that they shared a common cultural ancestry with the central elites. Their efforts were manifested through various cultural projects, such as compiling and publishing local histories, biographies, and genealogies, enshrining local cultural heroes in private academies, and erecting commemorative steles and halls. I analyze the processes of inventing, commemorating, and enshrining “public memory”—and the historical and cultural contexts in which such processes took place—through the case of Kim Kyŏngsŏ, a commanding general during the Ming-Chosŏn joint war against the rising Jurchen in 1619.