Queer Korea

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Since the end of the nineteenth century, the Korean people have faced successive waves of foreign domination, authoritarian regimes, forced dispersal, and divided development.

Throughout these turbulent times, “queer” Koreans were ignored, minimized, and erased in narratives of their modern nation, East Asia, and the wider world. This interdisciplinary volume challenges such marginalization through critical analyses of non-normative sexuality and gender variance. Considering both personal and collective forces, the contributors extend individualized notions of queer neoliberalism beyond those typically set in Western queer theory. Along the way, they recount a range of illuminating topics, from shamanic rituals during the colonial era and B-grade comedy films under Cold War dictatorship to female masculinity among today’s youth and transgender confrontations with the resident registration system. More broadly, Queer Korea offers readers new ways of understanding the limits and possibilities of human liberation under exclusionary conditions of modernity in Asia and beyond.

Contributors. Pei Jean Chen, John (Song Pae) Cho, Chung-kang Kim, Timothy Gitzen, Todd A. Henry, Merose Hwang, Ruin, Layoung Shin, Shin-ae Ha, John Whittier Treat.

Editor: Todd Henry

Paperback Published February 2020 368 pages

“A fascinating and pathbreaking work of scholarship that combines historical, social science, and cultural analysis to shatter a host of shibboleths about Korean sexuality and relationships, gives voice to the voiceless, and brings Korean queerness fully into the mainstream of Korean and East Asian studies!” — Carter J. Eckert, author of Park Chung Hee and Modern Korea: The Roots of Militarism, 1866–1945

“The contributors elegantly limn the messy boundaries and porous enclosures of the heteronormative and the ‘queer’, putting into sharp relief the relatively unexplored areas of non-normative Korea. Queer Korea is full of remarkable interventions and exciting possibilities, and its contributors deploy Korean cultural and historical experiences for an energized critique of queer theory.” — Martin F. Manalansan IV, author of Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora

Queer Korea is most definitely a work I recommend for those seeking an academic glance at non-heteronormative colonial Korea and modern South Korea, with some contemporary explorations.”— Hinny Luo, Feminist Encounters

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