In this presentation I will explore the relationship between affect, ethics and transitional justice by examining how South Korean society has dealt with the violent histories that occurred during the Japanese colonial period (1910-1945) and the postcolonial period. In particular, I will examine the South Korean application of the notion of transitional justice in the handling of the politically entangled Comfort Women issue that has strained the diplomatic relationship between South Korea and Japan and the politicization and controversy over the Kwangju democracy movement, the ten-day armed confrontation between the citizens of Kwangju and the military that produced both civilian and police/military casualties.
The questions I raise will include whether the measures of transitional justice, such as truth telling, achieve reconciliation among the divided communities. Further, what may be imagined for reconciliation and peace to be achieved among the divided communities so that the deep-seated distrust and trauma can be healed and broken relationships restored. I imagine affect and ethical considerations as crucial elements that may contribute to the effectivity of the legal execution of justice.
Chungmoo Choi is Professor of Korean Studies in the East Asian Studies Department at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Healing Historical Trauma in South Korean Film and Literature (Routledge, 2020) and co-editor/translator of Voices of the Korean Comfort Women: History Rewritten from Memories (Routledge, forthcoming in 2022).
Events in this series:
- Thursday, September 30, 2021 7:00-8:30 pm CT (View Recording)
"The Relevance of Transitional Justice Twenty Years after 9/11"
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin (University of Minnesota Law School) Hosted by Women & Gender in Global Perspectives Program.
- Thursday, October 21, 12:00-1:30 pm CT
Transitional Justice in Latin America: Lessons for the United States?
Ezequiel González Ocanto (Nuffield College, Oxford University)
- Thursday, November 4, 2021, 12:00-1:00 pm CT
Bones in the Forest: Exhumation and Reburial as Tools to "Healing The Dead" in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe
Shari Eppel (Matabeleland Chapter of the Amani Trust). Hosted by Center for African Studies.
- Friday, December 3, 2021, 3:00-4:30 pm CT
"How Might Transitional Justice Lead to Community Restoration?"
Chungmoo Choi (University of California, Irvine). Hosted by Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies.
- Tuesday, January 25, 2022, 12:00-1:00 pm CT
Hakim Williams (Gettysburg College). Hosted by Center for Global Studies.
- Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 1:00-2:00 pm CT
Katy Hayward (Queen’s University, Belfast). Hosted by European Union Center.
- Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 2:00-3:30 pm CT
Thula Pires (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro). Hosted by Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies.
- Thursday, April 14, 2022, 4:00-5:30 pm CT
Noura Erakat (Rutgers University, New Brunswick). Hosted by Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies.
This event is part of The 2021-2022 Blueprint for Transitional Justice in the US: Building on Lessons and Insights from Global Perspectives Series presented by the Illinois Global Institute in partnership with Center for African Studies, Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, Center for Global Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, European Union Center, Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies, and Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program. This series is made possible by the Chancellor’s 2021-2022 Call to Action to Address Racism & Social Injustice Research Program and co-sponsored by the Humanities Research Institute. Additional support is provided by the Department of Education Title VI Program.