Critical Auralities: Reencountering the Korean War through the Praxis of Listening

Colloquium | November 29 | 4-5:30 p.m. | 180 Doe Library

 Crystal Baik, University of California, Riverside

 Center for Korean Studies (CKS)

Talk Abstract:

Drawing from a chapter of her forthcoming book, Reencounters: On the Korean War & Diasporic Memory Critique, Professor Baik discusses a diasporic repertoire of multigenerational oral history archives that have coalesced in the past twenty years in relation to the un-ended Korean War. Centering the critical feminist praxis of embodied listening through rather than in spite of difference, Professor Baik considers what it means to mobilize an oral— or more precisely, aural— methodology to trouble and expand how we sense, hear, and remember war. Namely, Professor Baik’s talk examines how aural history projects reframe the Korean War’s pervasive effects from individuated traumatic imprints to historical and social formations indicative of contemporary life. Placing pressure on the aural dimensions of narrative-and-listening practices, she also considers how mnemonic silences, as feminist oral historian Luisa Passerini puts it, are “connected with remembering, not with forgetting.”

About the Speaker:

Crystal Mun-hye Baik is Assistant Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies at UC Riverside. Existing at the crossroads of Transnational American Studies, diasporic feminist studies, visual culture studies and oral history methodology, Professor Baik’s forthcoming book, Reencounters: On the Korean War & Diasporic Memory Critique (Temple University Press) draws on a selection of diasporic cultural memory practices to track the conflicting meanings of “true justice” in relation to American militarized presence in Korea and the North Pacific. Her scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Asian American Studies, Verge: Studies on Global Asias, American Studies Journal, The Oral History Review, Periscope (Social Text), the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, and several anthologies focusing on visual representations of Asian/Americans in film and print media (forthcoming, Duke University Press and Rutgers University Press). Currently, she is working on two new projects, including an oral history archive that focuses on Korean diasporic feminist and queer activists and cultural workers in the Americas, as well as a research project that addresses the ethnologist imagining of “Korea” as evidenced through early institutional collections.

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