History, Memory and the Politics of Memorialization in Contemporary Korea
Leiden University, The Netherlands, 24-27 October 2011.
In late October 2011, the Department of Korean Studies, Leiden University, The Netherlands will be hosting its third one-week Intensive Course for Graduate Students. This intensive course is organized within the framework of the AKS-funded research project “History as Social Process: Unconventional historiographies of Korea,” a project that deals with the production, representation and dissemination of historical narratives of Korea. Flagship of the project is the e-Journal Korean Histories [www.koreanhistories.net]
In this year’s course, Koen De Ceuster will engage the relationship between public history, cultural memory and Korea’s memorial landscape. Monuments and memorials inscribe the landscape with history; they occupy, historicize and order public space, and claim to teach a proper understanding of history. As South Korea embarked on a process of democratization, this understanding of the nation’s history came under scrutiny. The apparently immutable memorial landscape felt the ripple effect of the push for historical justice and the demand for settling the past. Charting the ongoing changes in the memorial landscape in the process of democratization allows an insight into the dynamic complexity of the social construction of public history/memory.