Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Romantic Motives in the Cold War Area Studies: Vincent Brandt’s Anthropological Researches in Korean Peripheries

Friday, July 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Willow, First Floor

Over a period of years, Vincent Brandt’s ethnography titled A Korean Village: Between Farm and Sea (1971) had been one of the required readings for anthropologists who were interested in Korean society. However, his career and intellectual background have not been well known in the academic world. He first dwelt in rural Korea as a diplomat of the United States during the Korean War. After he was transferred to the embassy in Tokyo, however, he suddenly resigned from the post in 1960 and entered a graduate school in the US to study anthropology. Following his first fieldwork at a coastal village of South Korea in 1966, based upon which his first book was written, he lived at a slum in Seoul for the second project in 1969. While these researches were both conducted under the situation in which the Park Chung-Hee’s military government enforced the rapid modernization policy, Brandt deliberately conducted fieldwork in poor, marginalized, and less developed communities, where he found solidarity with the inhabitants. Historicizing Vincent Brandt’s fieldnotes, photographs, a memoir, and articles, this paper explores unintended consequences of the “romantic motives” (G. W. Stocking) in the Cold War area studies.


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