Organized Panel Session
In the era of the post- or new Cold War, Korea is witnessing the denouement of the prolonged Cold War and its loud repercussions. The long presence of the two Koreas has made it difficult to view Korea without a Cold War lens. Revisiting Cold War-centered Korean literary and cultural history, this panel traces the origins and genealogy of post-Cold War thinking in the draconian Cold War era. Choe discovers international universalism beyond hostile nationalism, encompassing the Third World, in Im Hwa’s post-1945 discussion of national literature. Kim explores disregarded works from the official literary history and how the works undermine state ideologies, betraying the apparent Cold War themes. Chang examines the unification discourse of the 1960s as the most radical anti-Cold War, anti-American movement in Korea. Lee investigates the 1970s discourse on Youth Culture, displaying fascination with, and opposition to, dominating American values, and its dynamics with the dictatorial Yushin regime. Collectively, these papers demonstrate that Korean cultural producers had been thinking beyond the Cold War at varying depths and intensities, and bring two issues to the discussion. One is regarding the status of the US in Cold War Korea. The papers grasp the scenes where the American role and involvement are interrogated in establishing Korea’s post-Cold War subjectivity. Rethinking nationalism is another. The panel raises a question of whether we can perceive Third World nationalism as a search for pan-national solidarity beyond Cold War politics, not as an ethno-nationalism that has been a major target of academic criticism.