On the Korean War and Diasporic Memory Critique

Crystal Mun-hye Baik
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1899-9
Publication: Nov 19

HC: $99.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-1898-2
Publication: Nov 19

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-1900-2
Publication: Nov 19

250 pages
6 x 9
3 figs., 23 halftones

Examines the insidious ramifications of the un-ended Korean War through an interdisciplinary archive of diasporic memory works


Reencounters shifts the focus of the Korean War from the extraordinary to the ordinary. Author Crystal Baik assembles an interdisciplinary archive of diasporic memory works including oral history projects, time-based performances, and video installations that activate reencounters with the Korean War. She explores the persistence of the post–Korean War militarized division, the racialized and gendered ramifications of the war, and ideologies of national belonging and political citizenship in both Korea and the Korean diaspora.

Baik shows how Korean refugee migrations are repackaged and how transnational adoptees are reclaimed by the South Korean state as welcomed “returnees.” Reencounters also considers how militarized colonial outposts such as Jeju Island are recalibrated into desirable tourist destinations and the troubling ways North Korea is both mocked and portrayed as evil in American media. Baik argues that as the works by Korean and Korean/American artists depict this Cold War historiography, they also offer opportunities to remember otherwise the continuing war.

Ultimately, Reencounters wrestles with questions of the nature of war, racial and sexual violence, and neoliberal surveillance in the twenty-first century.

About the Author(s)

Crystal Mun-hye Baik is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender & Sexuality Studies at the University of California, Riverside.


In the Series

  • Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee

    Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.