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Events

U.S. Imperialism, Northeast Asian Security Crisis, and the Politics of Repression in South Korea

Thursday, February 22 @ 7:00 pm EST | Online

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Since the launching of far-right President Yoon Suk-yeol administration in 2022, the relationship between South Korea and North Korea has continued to deteriorate markedly, leading to heightened concerns about regional security in Northeast Asia—on a level not seen in several decades. Ahead of a crucial general election in South Korea this April, which has the chance to put a brake to this trend, Dr. Simone Chun will analyze how the current U.S. administration’s new Cold War policy has contributed to this situation, along with the resurgence of autocracy in South Korea, which has been emerging in tandem with the Yoon administration’s belligerent attitude toward North Korea.

Dr. Simone Chun is a researcher and activist focusing on U.S. foreign policy on the Korean Peninsula. She serves on the board of directors of the Korea Policy Institute.

The Center for Racial Justice Presents: The First Amerasians Book Talk with Yuri Doolan

 

Wednesday, February 21

5:00pm-6:30pm

UCSC Center for Racial Justice, HUM 1 Rm 210

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The First Amerasians tells the powerful, oftentimes heartbreaking story of how Americans created and used the concept of the Amerasian to remove thousands of mixed race children from their Korean mothers in US-occupied South Korea to adoptive American homes during the 1950s and 1960s. It explores the Cold War ideologies undergirding this so-called rescue and shows how the process of child removal and placement via US refugee and adoption laws profoundly shaped the lives of mixed race Koreans and their mothers.

 

Yuri W. Doolan is Assistant Professor of History and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and inaugural Chair of Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies at Brandeis University. He is the author of The First Amerasians: Mixed Race Koreans from Camptowns to America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2024).

No peace without sovereignty in the Korean Peninsula

Saturday, January 27, 2024 2:30 PM PST

A lecture honoring Noam Chomsky's solidarity with Korea's struggle for self-determination and peaceful unification.

Watch the program in Hangul below.

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Gender, Jeju Women, and Reconstruction of Post-4.3 Jeju

November 16, 2023: 5.30-7pm PST

November 17, 2023 (10:30am- 12:00pm KST)

Online Book Discussion 

Featuring Christine Hong, Sunghee Choi, and Hyejin Shim in conversation with Gwi-sook Gwon

Register here.

Gender, Jeju Women, and Reconstruction of Post-4.3 Jeju

In the wake of the Jeju 4.3 Uprising and the Korean War, the women of Jeju Island were molded into “Wise Mothers, Good Wives” in service to family and nation. Following the targeted decimation of men in Jeju through counterinsurgency massacres, women were enjoined to practice self-sacrifice, uphold Confucian morality, and assume economic roles as primary caretakers. How did this process of gender formation in the aftermath of war contribute to the broader process of South Korea national reconstruction? What aspects of post-war gender ideology did Jeju women resist? By interrogating these matters, this talk examines how Jeju women’s struggles shed light on the intertwined histories of militarization and gendered violence between Korea and the United States.

 

Co-hosted by the Ending the Korean War Teaching Initiative & the Memorial Committee for the Jeju April 3rd Uprising and Massacre

Sponsored by the Korean Policy Institute & The Center for Racial Justice at UC Santa Cruz

Online Event: Building Peace: Preventing War in Northeast Asia

October 28 10 AM-12PM & October 29 5 PM-7 PM (Korea Time)

As conflicts and tensions rise in Northeast Asia, intellectuals and activists working on the front lines for peace will gather to foster solidarity. Join us for the KPI co-sponsored 2023 ISC International Forum Online Event.

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Axis of War: The Japan-Korea-US (JAKUS) Trilateral Alliance

Friday, August 18, 2023 /August 19, 2023 KST 

Speakers: 

Cathi Choi: Women Cross DMZ and Korea Peace Now

Alexis Dudden: Professor of History at the University of Connecticut 

Tim Shorrock: Investigative journalist specializing in U.S. military intervention in Korea and Japan 

 

Moderator

Simone Chun: Korea Policy Institute

The Biden administration is determined to formalize Washington’s long-pursued military alliance with Japan and South Korea for the ostensible pretext of “enhancing deterrence and cooperation” against North Korea and China. On August 18, the first JAKUS trilateral summit will take place at Camp David amid the deployment of US nuclear assets to the Korean Peninsula and Washington’s steady military encirclement of China. The summit is expected to formalize trilateral war games, missile defense integration, and the creation of an anti-China economic bloc as part of Washington’s hegemonic quest for a US-led unipolar world. The impending trilateral militaristic axis is dangerous, provocative and fuels the rising danger of war in the Asia-Pacific.

 

What are the historical and geopolitical contexts behind this dangerous trilateral militarism? How will it impact the Korean Peninsula? Join JNC TV for a live discussion featuring distinguished panelists. 

Presented by JNC TV

Race, Kinship, and the Korean War

Monday, June 12, 2023 

Online book discussion and syllabus preview from the Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective

Framings of the Korean War that mobilize metaphors of masculine "bonds forged in blood" or as a fratricidal war overlook the centrality of sexual and gendered violence to the war and the intimate manifestations of this violence in the present, including in heteropatriarchal Korean ethnonationalism. How has the unending Korean War reconfigured the terms of kinship beyond "blood family" How has its violence shattered and rescripted notions of belonging?

Join us for an online Online book discussion and syllabus preview from the Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective, featuring Hosu Kim, Youngoh Jung, and Christine Hong in conversation with Joo Ok Kim. 

Book Talk: The Hidden History of the Korean War

 

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 

A discussion co-hosted by the Korea Policy Institute on the new introduction, written by Tim Beal and Gregory Elich, to I.F. Stone's The Hidden History of the Korean War.

The quest for American hegemony in Asia…starting with the Korean War

All most people know about the Korean War is that it was dubbed the “forgotten war.” They may not fully understand that it occurred at the height of anti-Communist blacklists, the purges of so-called “red” journalists and movie stars and so on — and that all this resulted in a media blackout. The tangled sequence of events leading to the Korean War were obfuscated in plain sight in order to prep the ground for a never-ending Cold War which aims to secure enduring American hegemony in East Asia, above all else.

In spite of every effort to conceal the details of the Korean war as it was happening, the well-beloved journalist I.F. Stone copiously documented it in full, producing an important document from the time with lasting significance for all of us today. Stone looked at openly available US intelligence sources, the actions of Chiang Kai Chek and the like, and demonstrated indisputably — via 600 citations— that there were those in the U.S. government and military who saw instability in the region as in the U.S. national interest. Stone made a strong case that the Korean War was a proxy war that sought to lay the ground for long term American dominance in Asia.

At first no one would touch Stone’s findings – they were too hot. But Stone got in touch with Monthly Review (then a magazine started with writing by the likes of Einstein) and this was the first book it published. Courageously written at the height of the McCarthy era, officials never refuted nor denied the book’s claims, but Stone’s book still got a real audience due to the durable reputation of the journalist himself.

Join us for a discussion co-hosted by the Korea Policy Institute’s Christine Hong and Martin Hart-Landsberg as they talk with the writers of the book’s new introduction. Tim Beal and Gregory Elich, and broach some fascinating questions:

  • How does a divided Korea boost US militarism in the region, and globally, to this day?

  • With the continuation of the war to this day, what have been the costs of division for Koreans?

  • How is the book a “master class” in how to read imperialist elites and their global machinations?

International Conference for Peace in Northeast Asia

The South Korea-U.S.-Japan Military Alliance is Stoking a New Cold War

 

Monday, May 15, 2023 

An Evening With Noam Chomsky: The Korean Peninsula and the US Drumbeat to War in East Asia

Presented by JNC TV

April 26th, 2023, 4:00 PM PST/April 27, 8:00 AM KST

 

Moderator: Simone Chun, Korea Policy Institute

Webinar in English, Q & A in Korean and English

Join us for a critical discussion with Noam Chomsky regarding the disastrous implications of Washington's military encirclement of China on the future of the Korean Peninsula. This forum is endorsed by 34 international peace organizations working to foster global activism to counter the growing danger of US brinkmanship in the Asia-Pacific region. 

 

Watch Youtube Live here.

Reimagining the Saigu Archive: LA 1992 and the Politics of Unending War

Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective Syllabus Launch + Conversation

Friday, April 7, 2023 

Oxy Arts Building, 5747 York Blvd., Los Angeles

 

co-presented by Korea Policy Institute and GYOPO

Please join us for the Los Angeles launch of the open-access Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective Syllabus and a conversation in which Christine Hong (KPI) and Yusef Omowale (Southern California Library) situate Saigu/LA Uprising against the unending Korean War and other U.S. counterinsurgent wars. This reframing counters the project of state-sanctioned memory and prompts critical reconceptions of the archive and Los Angeles as an imperial geography.

Follow-up presentation at the 2023 Association for Asian American Studies Annual Conference on April 8th.

Christine Hong serves on the board of directors of the Korea Policy Institute, an independent research and educational institute, and as a member of the Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective. She chairs Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and directs the Center for Racial Justice at UC Santa Cruz. She is the author of A Violent Peace: Race, Militarism, and Culture Democratization in Cold War Asia and the Pacific.

Yusef Omowale is a staff member at the Southern California Library (SCL). SCL is a library and archive located in South Los Angeles that documents and makes accessible histories of struggles that challenge racism and other systems of oppression. Founded 60 years ago, the Library holds extensive collections of histories of community resistance in Los Angeles and beyond.

Book Talk: The Hidden History of the Korean War

 

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 

A discussion co-hosted by the Korea Policy Institute on the new introduction, written by Tim Beal and Gregory Elich, to I.F. Stone's The Hidden History of the Korean War.

The quest for American hegemony in Asia…starting with the Korean War

All most people know about the Korean War is that it was dubbed the “forgotten war.” They may not fully understand that it occurred at the height of anti-Communist blacklists, the purges of so-called “red” journalists and movie stars and so on — and that all this resulted in a media blackout. The tangled sequence of events leading to the Korean War were obfuscated in plain sight in order to prep the ground for a never-ending Cold War which aims to secure enduring American hegemony in East Asia, above all else.

In spite of every effort to conceal the details of the Korean war as it was happening, the well-beloved journalist I.F. Stone copiously documented it in full, producing an important document from the time with lasting significance for all of us today. Stone looked at openly available US intelligence sources, the actions of Chiang Kai Chek and the like, and demonstrated indisputably — via 600 citations— that there were those in the U.S. government and military who saw instability in the region as in the U.S. national interest. Stone made a strong case that the Korean War was a proxy war that sought to lay the ground for long term American dominance in Asia.

At first no one would touch Stone’s findings – they were too hot. But Stone got in touch with Monthly Review (then a magazine started with writing by the likes of Einstein) and this was the first book it published. Courageously written at the height of the McCarthy era, officials never refuted nor denied the book’s claims, but Stone’s book still got a real audience due to the durable reputation of the journalist himself.

Join us for a discussion co-hosted by the Korea Policy Institute’s Christine Hong and Martin Hart-Landsberg as they talk with the writers of the book’s new introduction. Tim Beal and Gregory Elich, and broach some fascinating questions:

  • How does a divided Korea boost US militarism in the region, and globally, to this day?

  • With the continuation of the war to this day, what have been the costs of division for Koreans?

  • How is the book a “master class” in how to read imperialist elites and their global machinations?

Gender, Jeju Women, and Reconstruction of Post-4.3 Jeju

November 16, 2023: 5.30-7pm PST

November 17, 2023 (10:30am- 12:00pm KST)

Online Book Discussion 

Featuring Christine Hong, Sunghee Choi, and Hyejin Shim in conversation with Gwi-sook Gwon

Register here.

Gender, Jeju Women, and Reconstruction of Post-4.3 Jeju

In the wake of the Jeju 4.3 Uprising and the Korean War, the women of Jeju Island were molded into “Wise Mothers, Good Wives” in service to family and nation. Following the targeted decimation of men in Jeju through counterinsurgency massacres, women were enjoined to practice self-sacrifice, uphold Confucian morality, and assume economic roles as primary caretakers. How did this process of gender formation in the aftermath of war contribute to the broader process of South Korea national reconstruction? What aspects of post-war gender ideology did Jeju women resist? By interrogating these matters, this talk examines how Jeju women’s struggles shed light on the intertwined histories of militarization and gendered violence between Korea and the United States.

 

Co-hosted by the Ending the Korean War Teaching Initiative & the Memorial Committee for the Jeju April 3rd Uprising and Massacre

Sponsored by the Korean Policy Institute & The Center for Racial Justice at UC Santa Cruz

Summer Institute 2022: Political Education and Liberatory Knowledge

Presented by the Center for Racial Justice at the University of California, Santa Cruz:

For more information about the Summer Institute, visit https://crjucsc.com/summer-institute

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Day 1: Practicing Solidarity Against Anti-Blackness in an Age of Reproduced Illusions

 

Date: Wednesday, August 10th

Time: 10:00am–12:00pm PT

 

The first day is organized around solidarity not only as a practice of resistance to racial capitalism and white supremacy but also as a matter of political education. Led by Yusef Omowale, head archivist at the Southern California Library, a community library and archive located in south-central Los Angeles, this opening session will explore community-based responses to harm and the ways that dominant ideologies and counter-hegemonic memory work can impact these efforts. Participants will engage with case studies of real-world events to analyze practices of solidarity against anti-Blackness, as well as other forms of collective resistance to state violence. Some of the questions that will be discussed include the following:

 

  • What does solidarity against anti-Blackness look like?

  • How have state-sanctioned versions of history shaped our understandings of harm and justice?

  • In what ways can critical study disrupt the violences we suffer and offer alternatives for living?

 

Featured Speaker:

 

  • Yusef Omowale is a staff member at the Southern California Library (SCL). SCL is a library and archive located in South Los Angeles that documents and makes accessible histories of struggles that challenge racism and other systems of oppression. Founded over 50 years ago, the Library holds extensive collections of histories of community resistance in Los Angeles and beyond. Over the past 10 years, Yusef has participated within long-standing traditions of collective memory work to document the impacts of policing, incarceration, displacement, and poverty. This archival labor has included political education workshops, campaign support, and offering spaces of healing and material support to ease some of the day-to-day sufferings of late capitalism.

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Day 2: Revisiting the Writings and Legacies of Harry Chang, A Forgotten Theoretician of Race

Date: Thursday, August 11th

Time: 10:00am–3:00pm PT

 

The second day focuses on the writings and legacies of Harry Chang, whose 1970s theorizations of racism through a Marxist lens shaped critical race theory, ethnic studies, and anti-imperialist community-based organizing in ways that are not broadly recognized. Although his ideas and methodological approaches to the study of race in the United States were innovative, deeply influential, and far ahead of their time, Chang himself remains a relatively unknown figure. The speakers are five community organizers and scholars who took part in Harry Chang’s workshops and political education study groups in Ohio and the Bay Area during the 1970s.

 

  • 10:00am–12:00pm: Harry Chang on Race, Class, and Korea’s National Liberation

    • Focusing on Chang’s writings, Paul Liem and JT Takagi will explore the intimate connections between Chang’s pioneering critique of racial categories in the United States and his political commitment to anti-imperialist struggle abroad.

  • 1:00pm–3:00pm: Theorizing Race after Harry Chang

    • Linda Burnham, Neil Gotanda, and Bob Wing will introduce their own work on critical race theory, racism and U.S. politics, and white supremacy, explaining how Chang’s thought gave structure and direction to their research and organizing itineraries. 

 

Featured Speakers:

 

  • Paul Liem: Chair of the Board of Directors of the Korea Policy Institute

  • JT Takagi: Executive Director of Third World Newsreel

  • Linda Burnham: Research Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance

  • Niel Gotanda: Professor Emeritus at Western State College of Law

  • Bob Wing: Founding Editor of ColorLines and War Times/Tiempo de Guerras

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Day 3: Reverberations of Unending War: Enacting Anti-Imperialist Solidarity in the Korean Diaspora

 

Date: Friday, August 12th

Time: 10:00am–3:00pm PT

 

The last day of the CRJ Summer Institute foregrounds political education as an anti-imperialist tool against permanent war through a focus on the online, open-access Ending the Korean War Teaching Collective syllabus and a discussion among antiwar activists and scholars about the role of critical study in addressing the reverberations of the Korean War, a devastating war of imperial U.S. intervention that has yet to come to an end.

 

  • 10:00am–12:00pm: Liberatory Study to End the Korean War

    • Launching the collective's open-access syllabus, the first session seeks to spark a set of conversations, within and beyond academic spaces, that contest quietist or complicit approaches to the profound violence and harm of the ongoing Korean War with a focus on diaspora, kinship, an memory across geographies entangled within U.S. military empire.

 

  • 1:00pm–3:00pm: Hakseup for Radical Peace: A Conversation with Juyeon Rhee

    • During the second session, Juyeon Rhee, formerly the main coordinator for Nodutdol's grassroots political education and exposure trips to both South and North Korea, will speak about the role of anti-imperialist hakseup in fostering international solidarity within the diaspora.

 

Features Speakers:

  • Minju Bae

  • Crystal Baik

  • Patrick Chung

  • Christine Hong

  • Yuna Kim

  • Joo Ok Kim

  • Monica Kim

  • Ji-Yeon Yuh

  • Juyeon Rhee

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