Writing and Constructing the Nation in Korea: Wars and Memory since 1592


ACLS Fellowship Program


East Asian Languages and Cultures

Named Award

ACLS/NEH International and Area Studies Fellow named award


This project studies the nature and modes of the discourse of nation in premodern and early modern Korea. Focusing on two epochal wars—the Imjin War, 1592-1598, that involved three East Asian countries, and the Manchu invasion of 1636-1637—I examine the way in which "nation” was imagined during the war years, and the ways in which competing agencies utilized the trope of war in the postwar culture of commemoration. This study provides a new way of conceptualizing a non-Western, premodern “historical nation” by tracing a multi-layered and multi-stranded discourse through time and linguistic space (literary Chinese, vernacular Korean, and orally-based texts), genres (from historiography through fiction), media, and commemorative activities and their agencies.