Northeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - The Promised Republic: Seoul and the Making of Modern South Korea, 1961-1979

Friday, July 6
10:20 AM - 11:50 AM
Location: Chinar, First Floor

My presentation focuses on the history of Seoul in the 1960s and 1970s, and in doing so aims to tell the story of how South Koreans experienced, embraced, redirected, and raged against the developmental programs of the Park Chung Hee government (1961-1979). This story begins with the proliferation of shantytowns in Seoul, a product of urban-based developmental programs that quickly came to be seen as a blight on the city. It also chronicles the creation of spaces of never-before-seen abundances, such as the Kangnam region and the construction of apartments along Seoul’s Han River.


In my talk, I will focus on the history of shantytowns in Seoul, which exploded in number in the 1960s and reached a crisis point by the middle of that decade. This crisis, in turn, prompted one of the most audacious programs undertaken by the Seoul city government: Mayor Kim Hyǒnok’s pledge in 1967, just months after the promulgation of the new Seoul City Plan, to legalize and spare all of Seoul’s shanties from destruction. This was part of a broader attempt by the ruling political party to coopt South Korea’s new urban classes, but Mayor Kim’s turnaround on these election promises led ultimately to widespread protest and violence. The history of this political fallout demonstrates how understandings of “development” were narrowed in the late 1960s, and how urban lower classes became an enduring object of appeal to South Korean opposition politicians.

Russell Burge

Stanford University, United States

Presentation(s):

Send Email for Russell Burge


Assets

2 - The Promised Republic: Seoul and the Making of Modern South Korea, 1961-1979



Attendees who have favorited this

Please enter your access key

The asset you are trying to access is locked. Please enter your access key to unlock.

Send Email for The Promised Republic: Seoul and the Making of Modern South Korea, 1961-1979