Possessing History: Korean Diasporic Women and the Performance of Persistence


Mellon/ACLS Scholars and Society Fellowships




For residence at KAN-WIN: Empowering Women in the Asian American Community, Chicago, IL


This book examines the interrelationship between Korean diasporic women’s experiences of social and political violence, place, and performance. It focuses on how these women use embodied practices in different social and cultural sectors to practice the Korean concept of innae (persistence). These performances of innae have taken place in the aftermath of the division of the Korean Peninsula at the 38th parallel in 1945, the Korean War (1950-53), US militarism on the peninsula (1945-), and immigration to the United States (1953-). In daily practices of innae, Korean diasporic women strive to create a sense of home for their families, to reclaim their stories, and to advocate for justice. The book relies on archival research at community organizations and museums as well as on ethnographic fieldwork in the United States and in South Korea.