Politics of Memory in Korea

  • Hannes B. Mosler (Autor/in)


Memory politics, or the politics of memory, is about “who wants whom to remember
what, and why” (Confino 1997: 1393). This struggle over memory is, besides
directly writing and teaching history in publications and educational institutions,
fought by way of (repetitive) performative acts at the site ofstatues, monuments, and
memorials taking the form of rituals — such as holding commemorative speeches,
worshipping, and mourning. Of course, “[the] remaking of the past is not the
monopoly of modernity” (Kim 2010: 578), and thus political remembrance does not
exhaust itself in those macropolitical commemorations referring to Korea’s
contemporary history alone. It can also be found in activities maintaining traditions,
in practices of historiography, and in everyday culture — which extends much
further into the past. Against this backdrop, this special issue draws together five
papers that explore multiple different forms of political remembrance in Korea over
the centuries, at diverse memory sites, and regarding various ways of performing