Lecture | “An Island of Death”: Homo Sacer and Ungrievable Deaths

December 13, 2019 - 12:00pm

YJ, Hwang, Teaching Fellow, Department of Theatre Arts, University of Pittsburgh

Jeju Island is internationally known as “the Hawaii of Asia” because of its scenic landscapes. But it is not known that this volcanic island is also called “an Island of Death” in connection with the Jeju massacre (1948-1949). This talk thus focuses on the ways in which the victims of the mass killing are enacted in relation to cultural implications of conceptualizing deaths of the Jeju incident. Given that the main characteristic of the Cold War narrative is associated with the reburial of the dead and the finding of missing bodies in the context of modern Korean history, this talk engages with the way in which cultural memory is performed in Jeju Peace Memorial Park through artistic practices and monuments. Concentrating on the injustice of death, the ethics of the dead, and the relationship between history and memory, it also includes how this site reveals a futuristic vision of understanding the Jeju massacre.

YJ, Hwang is a teaching fellow, working on her doctoral project in relation to South Korea’s Jeju massacre and its cultural memory at the University of Pittsburgh. As a theatre and performance studies scholar, her research interests include gender, memory, and mobility.

Location and Address

4130 Posvar Hall, 230 South Bouquet Street