• 184 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • 6 halftones
  • Price: $27.95
  • EAN: 9781439920589
  • Publication: Jun 2022
  • Price: $99.50
  • EAN: 9781439920572
  • Publication: Jun 2022
  • Price: $27.95
  • EAN: 9781439920596
  • Publication: Jun 2022

Warring Genealogies

Race, Kinship, and the Korean War

Joo Ok Kim

Warring Genealogies examines the elaboration of kinships between Chicano/a and Asian American cultural production, such as the 1954 proxy adoption of a Korean boy by Leavenworth prisoners. Joo Ok Kim considers white supremacist expressions of kinship—in prison magazines, memorials, U.S. military songbooks—as well as critiques of such expressions in Chicana/o and Korean diasporic works to conceptualize racialized formations of kinship emerging from the Korean War.

Warring Genealogies unpacks writings by Rolando Hinojosa (Korean Love Songs, The Useless Servants) and Luis Valdez (I Don’t Have to Show You No Stinking Badges, Zoot Suit) to show the counter-representations of the Korean War and the problematic depiction of the United States as a benevolent savior. Kim also analyzes Susan Choi’s The Foreign Student as a novel that proposes alternative temporalities to dominant Korean War narratives. In addition, she examines Chicano military police procedurals, white supremacist women’s organizations, and the politics of funding Korean War archives.

Kim’s comparative study of Asian American and Latinx Studies makes insightful connections about race, politics, and citizenship to critique the Cold War conception of the “national family.”


Warring Genealogies offers a sophisticated analysis that compellingly demonstrates the broader significance of the Korean War as a crucible for a variety of U.S. Cold War concerns in the postWorld War II era. Crucially, Kim’s juxtaposition and brilliant analysis of unlikely archival materials and cultural texts make an original and exceedingly important contribution to our understandings of the links between the Korean War and U.S. racial, carceral, and settler colonial formations. This is a rigorous and impressive interdisciplinary cultural study.”
Jodi Kim, Associate Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of California, Riverside, and author of Settler Garrison: Debt Imperialism, Militarism, and Transpacific Imaginaries

“In recent years, we have seen the emergence of a vital nexus of works in Asian American and American Studies on the topic of the Korean War. Warring Genealogies makes a vital contribution to this field. Kim organizes her study around the problematic of kinship in illuminating and original ways, synthesizing and inventively finding points of connection among a number of significant approaches. What is most compelling is the archive Kim constructs: Not only are many of the objects she takes up themselves fascinating—the adoption of Bok Nam Om by white prisoners at Leavenworth, the Korean War historiography of the United Daughters of the Confederacy—but they are also placed in startling juxtaposition with more easily accessible cultural works like published histories and novels. The prolific scope of the theoretical and historiographical studies that Kim draws on here provides readers with a comprehensive awareness of the relevance of such fields and persuasively demonstrates how kinship functions as a conceptual through line among them as well.”
Daniel Y. Kim, Professor of English and American Studies at Brown University, and author of The Intimacies of Conflict: Cultural Memory and the Korean War

About the Author(s)

Joo Ok Kim is Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.

In the Series

Critical Race, Indigeneity, and Relationality

Edited by Antonio T. Tiongson Jr., Danika Medak-Saltzman, Iyko Day, and Shanté Paradigm Smalls, Critical Race, Indigeneity, and Relationality showcases comparative studies of race, ethnicity, and Indigeneity in projects that take a self-reflexive approach in their deployment of relational frameworks and analytics. The series spotlights projects that theorize the imbrication of settler colonial logics with other structuring logics such as franchise colonialism, racial chattel slavery, neoliberal capitalism, ableism, Islamophobia, heteropatriarchy, and the carceral and surveillance state. The series does so in order to complicate the canon of comparative race scholarship and nuance normative iterations of women of color feminism and queer of color critique. For these reasons, the series seeks projects that are grounded in, and build on, the theoretical insights and methodologies of women of color feminism and queer of color critique as they engage with Native theorizing, Indigeneity, and settler colonial paradigms. Critical Race, Indigeneity, and Relationality steers away from the familiar means of evoking and excavating patterns of similarities and differences to publish works that provide an alternative interpretive grid for comparative work—one that is acutely attuned to historical conjunctures, structural disjunctures, and power asymmetries.

Proposals may be submitted to Shaun Vigil, Editor, Temple University Press