The twelve chapters in this volume seek to overcome the nationalist paradigm of Japanese repression and exploitation versus Korean resistance that has dominated the study of Korea’s colonial period (1910–1945) by adopting a more inclusive, pluralistic approach that stresses the complex relations among colonialism, modernity, and nationalism. By addressing such diverse subjects as the colonial legal system, radio, telecommunications, the rural economy, and industrialization and the formation of industrial labor, one group of essays analyzes how various aspects of modernity emerged in the colonial context and how they were mobilized by the Japanese for colonial domination, with often unexpected results. A second group examines the development of various forms of identity from nation to gender to class, particularly how aspects of colonial modernity facilitated their formation through negotiation, contestation, and redefinition.
Gi-Wook Shin and Michael Robinson have edited a book that brings together academics from a range of disciplines to present a comprehensive perspective of Korea’s colonial period from a more integrative and pluralist viewpoint… In taking on an alternative view of Korea’s colonial period, the book provides a valuable addition to the Korean historical literature. The rationale is well argued and avoids disparaging previous work. Nationalist biases (both Korean and Japanese) are avoided and editors and contributors project a richness of perspective that allows for a reassessment of the importance of the colonial period in the development of the modern Korean state.
- 496 pages
- 6 x 9 inches
- Harvard University Asia Center
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