Memory Wars in East Asia II: Master Narratives of Modern Korean History Told in Museums in Seoul

Memory Wars in East Asia II: Master Narratives of Modern Korean History Told in Museums in Seoul

Date(s) - 02/26/2015
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

327/8/9 Smith Student Union
1825 SW Broadway --Portland

In the “Memory Wars in East Asia” series, Dr. Ken Ruoff focuses on the ways that governments and citizenry in the East Asian countries remember their modern histories, particularly the colonial/imperialistic eras. With the second lecture in this series, Dr. Ruoff analyzes how the history of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) is portrayed at key museums in and around Seoul, ranging from Independence Hall to the newly opened National Museum of Korean Contemporary History.

“Presently in East Asia, there is what might be termed a nasty ‘memory war’ transpiring between countries such as Korea, China, and Japan over how to interpret the past, especially conflicts between these countries, even as individuals in these countries themselves disagree over how to interpret their country’s modern experience.” Dr. Ruoff adds, “When analyzing any historical narrative, it is important to focus not only on what details are present in the narrative, but also on what details are missing, and this is very much the case with the narratives of national history that are presented at heritage sites throughout East Asia.”
Dr. Ken Ruoff is an internationally recognized historian researching how the history of East Asia is portrayed at heritage sites. His research in South Korea was supported by the Northeast Asian History Foundation based in Seoul. The Japanese translation of his first monograph, The People’s Emperor, was awarded Japan’s equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, the Osaragi Jiro Prize for Commentary, in 2004.
Lecture is FREE & open to the public
Presented by The PSU Friends of History, The PSU Center for Japanese Studies, The PSU Institute for Asian Studies, and Literary Arts.

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