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Press Release:

Activists Take Over National Mall, Call for End to Korean War (April 5, 2024)         

Ending the Korean War Collective:

Political Education and Permanent War


April 4-5, 2024

Ending the Korean War Collective: Political Education and Permanent War
Ending the Korean War Collective: Political Education and Permanent War


In the eighth decade of the unending Korean War, a catastrophic war of U.S. intervention that has yet to come to an end, the Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective (EKW) has organized a series of events that explore the necessity of political education as an anti-imperialist tool against permanent war within militarized geographies that span Korea and the Pacific.  Instead of understanding the unresolved Korean War as a narrowly defined discrete event in the past specific solely to Korea and Koreans, our sessions generate scrutiny of far-reaching structural consequences across the Pacific that are seldom identified with the war itself. Through a prismatic lens, this symposium offers fresh insight into the ongoing Korean War’s biopolitical afterlives (family separation, the international adoption industry, militarized prostitution, queer diasporas, race relations in the United States), its shadow geographies (South Korea, Guåhan, Hawai‘i, the Philippines, Puerto Rico), and its infrastructural significance (the military-industrial complex, the national security state, the U.S. empire of bases, the imperial university). Through our sessions, we invite you to collectively contribute to a multi-pronged approach to ending the Korean War through critical pedagogies in the academy and community organizing. 


Capping the sessions at University of Maryland (UMD) is a political action the following day at the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Conducted in conjunction with the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition and Nodutdol, the action will provide participants with critical context and alternative perspectives to the state memory enshrined at the Korean War Memorial. In place of a US-centric, imperialist memorialization of the conflict, which elides the war’s asymmetrical brutality, ongoing nature, and far-reaching harms, this action will incorporate and put into practice the previous day’s discussions about political education and activism. 


















Schedule of Events


April 4, 2024

Ending the Korean War: Political Education and Permanent War

University of Maryland, College Park


Co-sponsored by Department of History Miller Center for Historical Studies, Asian American Studies Program, Center For Global Migration Studies, Center for East Asian Studies, Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and American Studies. 


Session 1: Critical Geographies of the Unending Korean War: From Pyongyang to Vieques

Time and Location: 4:00-5:30pm, Shoemaker Building 2102


  1. Patrick Chung, Assistant Professor, History, University of Maryland

  2. Christine Hong, Professor, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz 

  3. Junyoung Verónica Kim, Assistant Professor, Film and Media Studies, Latin American Culture and Literature, University of Pittsburgh

  4. Sung Eun Kim, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Korean Studies, George Washington University 


This session launches the “Critical Geographies of the Korean War” module of the Ending the Korean War (EKW) Teaching Collective’s public syllabus. EKW brings together politically engaged scholars, students, artists, filmmakers, and activists who critically examine the Korean War and US empire within the context of a transnational social movement aimed at decolonization, demilitarization, and deimperialization. As part of a public-facing anti-imperialist pedagogical project, the “Critical Geographies” module seeks to stage a set of conversations, both within and beyond traditional academic spaces, that contest the presumed geographic borders of the Korean War. It asks: how can we unveil the lines of continuity between “militarized spaces” from the 38th parallel to diasporic sites beyond the Korean peninsula? How might we understand the multiscalar geographies of the Korean War? Where do we locate the war’s effects, and how do the latter converge, collapse, and negotiate imperialism’s macro and micro effects, including on intimate registers? The session offers a walk-through of the EKW public syllabus and explores its utilization in and beyond the classroom. In keeping with the collective’s broader goal of bringing about a decolonizing end to the Korean War, this session invites attendees to engage with the materials, archives, and questions presented by the syllabus and collectively reflect on the role of education to end the militarized violence of the unending Korean War.


  • Reception: Time and Location, 5:30-6:30pm, TBD


Session 2: Political Education Against Empire Now

Time and Location: 6:30-8:00pm, Shoemaker Building 2102


  1. Brian Becker, National Coordinator of Act Now To Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition 

  2. Madeleine Han, Ph.D. Candidate, American Studies, Yale University 

  3. Jinah Kim, Department Chair - Cultural Studies, Transpacific Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, Gender and Sexuality, California State University, Northridge

  4. Monica Kim (moderator), Associate Professor, History, University of Wisconsin, Madison

  5. Ju-Hyun Park, Member of Nodutdol

  6. Ka-eul Yoo, UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Asian American Studies, University of California, Irvine


Through a shared anti-imperialist lens, this session will center the insights of junior scholars from the Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective and political organizers and activists from the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition and Nodutdol, who have coupled research and political activism toward the goal of dismantling empire. Aimed at students and members of the public, this session seeks to promote a broad discussion about political education in the current political climate.  Centering the strategies and insights gained from previous experiences in political organizing against US imperialist policies on the Korean peninsula and around the world, this session will encourage participants to share experiences, reflections, and visions on engaging students, organizing on university campuses, and collaborating with community organizations. What are our continuing challenges? What strategies conversely have been most effective?  What vision of solidarity informs our organizing? How can we marshal institutional resources toward anti-imperialist ends?  


April 5, 2024

Disrupting Permanent War: An Anti-Imperialist Detour of the National Mall

National Mall, Washington, DC 


Members of Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective, Nodutdol, and the ANSWER Coalition will lead a decolonizing people's itinerary around the National Mall, ending with the Korean War Memorial.


12pm: Begin at the WWII Memorial 


12:30pm: March to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial


12:45pm: Stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial


1:15pm: March to MLK Memorial


1:30pm: Stop at the MLK Memorial


2pm: March to the Korean War Memorial


2:15pm: Stop at the Korean War Memorial

3pm: Conclude at the Korean War Memorial

Ending the Korean War: Political Education and Permanent War  University of Maryland, College Park
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