Korean American Historical Society presents
Dr. Seung-Hee Jeon
“War Memories and Memory War:
Wanso Pak’s Half-century Quest for Truth of the Korean War”
Thursday, May 7, 2009 5:30 pm
Free to the Public
Wing Luke Asian Museum
719 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98104 Museum Hours:
Tue. – Sun., 10am – 5pm (regular admission); 1st Thur. / 3rd Sat. 10am – 8pm (free admission)
Since the cease-fire in 1953, authorities in Korea have been continuously imposing a specific kind of memory of the Korean War – one characterized by its zealous anti-communism – on its people. The state’s continuum of coercive political and legal systems more or less successfully suppressed and silenced other kinds of memories of the war experienced by ordinary people for a long time.
Wanso Pak, a renowned Korean novelist, is one of a few courageous people who early on began challenging this culture of forced silence through her stories and novels that deal with her own experiences of the Korean War. Dr. Jeon’s talk will delineate the trajectory of Pak’s lifelong quest for truth of the Korean War embodied in her autobiographical writings.
This event is a community program for the exhibit
“Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the “Forgotten War”, now on view in the Tsutakawa Art Gallery through May 17.
Seung-Hee Jeon is a Fellow at the Korea Institute, Harvard University and a Senior Editor of Asia: a Magazine of Asian Literature. She received her Ph.D. in English Literature from Seoul National University and more recently in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. An accomplished translator and literary critic, she published many articles on Korean, Asian and English literature and translated and co-translated contemporary Asian and English literature and literary theories. Currently finishing a book entitled Writing War: Trauma and Truth after the Age of Extremes, she is also working on the autobiographical representations of postwar Korean history as well as the changing dynamics in cultural discourses surrounding women’s sexuality in Korea.
Seung-Hee Jeon is a founding member of Boston Korea Friendship Association, and a former Board member of Transition House, New England’s first shelter for battered women. Dr. Jeon served as linguistic consultant for the exhibit “Still Present Pasts: Korean Americans and the ‘Forgotten War’,” and provided translation in Korean and English.