Organized Panel Session
This panel breaks with histories focused on the U.S./Soviet conflict, to approach Korea’s Cold War transformation as process of post-colonial adaptation. Despite the end of Japanese colonial rule, many Koreans continued to rely on their colonial experience to interpret and manage the new conditions of political division and rising American and Soviet influence. Individual papers examine how Koreans reintroduced and reframed colonial ideas, models, and tropes into the intellectual and institutional framework of Cold War Nationalism. Sang-ho Ro focuses on South Korean’s first generation of mathematicians and their selective translation of colonial Japanese pedagogy into a new Korean education system. Rolf I. Siverson examines how Korean scientists nurtured in Manchukuo’s state research facilities drew on that experience to push the scientific communities in North and South Korea towards centralization and deeper integration with the state. Keung Yoon Bae analyzes the development of Japanese film law in the 1930s and how the objectives and concerns of policy makers in Japan’s imperial context formed the regulatory and institutional basis for the production and consumption of film in 1960s South Korea. Finally, Aaron S. Moore explores the Park Chung Hee regime’s redeployment of colonial development policies that emerged from renewed dialogue between South Korean technocrats and former colonial engineers brought over as advisors from Japan. Collectively, these papers demonstrate that just as the Cold War brought Koreans into a new global order it also facilitated a revival and retrenchment of the recent colonial past.