DMZ Crossing: Performing Emotional Citizenship Along the Korean Border

Kobo ebook | February 18, 2014

bySuk-Young Kim

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The Korean demilitarized zone might be among the most heavily guarded places on earth, but it also provides passage for thousands of defectors, spies, political emissaries, war prisoners, activists, tourists, and others testing the limits of Korean division. This book focuses on a diverse selection of inter-Korean border crossers and the citizenship they acquire based on emotional affiliation rather than constitutional delineation. Using their physical bodies and emotions as optimal frontiers, these individuals resist the state’s right to draw geopolitical borders and define their national identity. Drawing on sources that range from North Korean documentary films, museum exhibitions, and theater productions to protester perspectives and interviews with South Korean officials and activists, this volume recasts the history of Korean division and draws a much more nuanced portrait of the region’s Cold War legacies. The book ultimately helps readers conceive of the DMZ as a dynamic summation of personalized experiences rather than as a fixed site of historical significance.

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From the Publisher

The Korean demilitarized zone might be among the most heavily guarded places on earth, but it also provides passage for thousands of defectors, spies, political emissaries, war prisoners, activists, tourists, and others testing the limits of Korean division. This book focuses on a diverse selection of inter-Korean border crossers and t...

Suk-Young Kim is a professor of theater and East Asian studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her book Illusive Utopia addresses North Korean state propaganda and rituals, and she is the coauthor of Long Road Home, which documents the oral history of a North Korean labor camp survivor.

other books by Suk-Young Kim

Illusive Utopia: Theater, Film, and Everyday Performance in North Korea
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Long Road Home: Testimony of a North Korean Camp Survivor
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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:February 18, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231537263

ISBN - 13:9780231537261

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Contesting the Border
1. Imagined Border Crossers on Stage
2. Divided Screen, Divided Paths
3. Twice Crossing and the Price of Emotional Citizenship
4. Borders on Display: Museum Exhibitions
5. Nation and Nature Beyond the Borderland
Notes
Works Cited
Index

Editorial Reviews

Brilliantly examining how political divisions inform the emotional tenor of everyday life, Suk-Young Kim's analysis of the DMZ has implications far beyond Korean studies. Expertly braiding testimony from witnesses on both sides of the Korean border, Kim reminds us that political and ideological divisions are often no match for the intensity and duration of emotional ties. This book is an important contribution to performance studies, postcolonial theory, and affect theory. It should be read by all scholars interested in Korean life and culture on both sides of the DMZ.