Critical Review of History
Latest articles in this journal
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 10-53; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.10
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 93-124; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.93
This study investigated the important issues surrounding the curriculum of Korean Contemporary History, which are raised in discussion of democratic citizenship education in the academia of history education. In the primary and secondary education, the April 19 Revolution, 5·18 Democratization Movement, and June Democratization Movement repeatedly appeared, because the curriculum of Korean Contemporary History is grounded in the framework of national development based on the Constitution. In the discussion of democratic citizenship education, it is argued that Korean Contemporary History has to address the period after 1987 more prominently; history classes based on controversy should be encouraged; and history education needs to actively respond to “historical negation.” In learning Korean Contemporary History, however, students have to have opportunities to think of diverse and multilayered aspects of people’s lives, rather than simply focusing on national political history and developmental narratives. History education should stress ontological values of human beings and contribute to reflecting critically on myself and the community. At this point, Korean Contemporary history needs not be emphasized more than other time periods and regions. In order to go beyond a single narrative structure in teaching Korean history, autonomy for constructing history curriculum, particularly teachers’ autonomy, should be expanded. Also, the policy for mandatory Korean History in the College Scholastic Ability Test should be abolished.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 226-254; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.226
This paper reviews the relationship between border control and racial discourse, focusing on the life of Park Yong Hak, an Asian immigrant in the United States in the early twentieth century. Previous studies have found how American society tried to establish the racial value of white people by othering Asians and how Asian immigrants dealt with racism. In continuing this line of search, the paper uses as an analytical framework the theory of Etienne Balibar, which criticizes that modern borders have justified discrimination against ‘foreigners’ under the pretext of protecting the rights of ‘people’ by separating the inside and outside of the boundary exclusively on the premise of birth, nationality, ethnicity, and racial homogeneity. To this study, the life of Park Yong-Hak is particularly relevant, as he had a hybrid identity from his repeated migrations between China and Korea and Korea and America and showed cracks in the American racial discourse in the US immigration court. The paper pays close attention to the three aspects of Park’s life. First, Park Yong-Hak, born in China to Chinese parents, served as a soldier of the Korean Empire and was issued a Korean Empire passport. Second, after emigrating to the United States, he learned English at school, settled in American society, and found a job, without being part of the immigrants’ community. Finally, Park Yong Hak demonstrated his foreign language skills and made an honest statement in the US immigration court, contrary to the image of cunning and ignorant Asians prevalent in American society at the time.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 56-92; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.56
In this study, we investigated the issues surrounding democratic citizenship education in Korean academia of history education. A decade ago, discussions on democratic citizenship education began by critically reflecting established discourses of history education; recently, those discussions have been expanded to various research topics. However, some scholars have been concerned with them, and they particularly disagreed with the specific ways to implement democratic citizenship education in history education. Thus, in this paper, we examined how history education could be integrated in democratic citizenship education. Above all, we discussed the meanings of democracy, democratic education, or democratic citizenship education, as concepts should be the basis for further discussion. Additionally, we examined the specific contexts that the discourses of democratic citizenship education started in Korean academia, and then critically reviewed the multiple discussions on democratic citizenship education. Finally, we argued that the values of history as the humanities are in line with the ultimate purpose of democratic citizenship education.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 389-421; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.389
This article explores the discussion of “public history”, which has been heating up the history academia recently, in the reality of Korea, not in the theoretical dimension. The historical background behind Korean society’s acceptance of the concept of “public history” is three contexts: popularization of history, paradigm shift in historical research, and the “crisis of history” discourse. In particular, regarding the “crisis of history”, there were two factors that emphasized “the greatness” of ancient history and “the glory” of contemporary history, the “history consumption” problem in the public sphere, which had little to do with historical research, and the employment of historians. This situation was the reason why the introduction of the concept of “public history” was delayed, and at the same time the background that the discussion of public history began in Korea. The concepts of “popularization of history”, “consumption of history”, and “history/cultural content” have served as alternatives to “public history” in Korean society. Public history shows a clear distinction, although there are aspects that share a significant sense of problem with these concepts. This is because it contains concerns and philosophies about the pursuit of “historical publicness” that cannot be found in other concepts. Roughly speaking, public history refers to “practicing and reproducing various history outside of academia”, and public historians are understood as “historical experts and non-professional history lovers who participate in public history.” From this perspective, public history exists in abundance throughout Korean society. The existence and activities of public historians who describe/represent/practice history with their own expertise in the field of public history such as museums, memorial halls, media, schools, communities, and internet spaces where criticism and discourse take place are public history. In the future, discussions on public history should take a step further with specific and critical analyses of various sites that are closely attached to the reality of Korea.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 422-461; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.422
The truth about the May 18th Gwangju Uprising(“5·18”) was eventually liberated in the late 1980s-documents and nonfiction books for the testimony of “5·18” were extensively circulated. This sudden flooding of testimony resulted from the problem that the government’s investigation was delayed and not satisfactory. The Committee for Democracy and Reconciliation(known as “Minhwawe”), established after President Roh Taewoo’s election, was in a contradictory position of suppressing the discussion and activity for illuminating the truth. While under the suppression once again, the testimony of “5·18” struggled to construct the history of people’s democratic uprising and the individual memories not fully converged into the history. The work for establishing an official history of “5·18” stood against the discourse of the national unity developed by “Minhwawe.” On the other hand, the work for archiving people who had participated in, experienced, and sacrificed themselves for “5·18” stood for those who were not represented by the nation nor by “the people”, and gave them some voices for their own testimony.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 342-388; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.342
The assassination of Hyun Junhyuk (September 3, 1945) was the milestone that changed the political scene of North Korea shortly after Korea liberation. It was turned out that White Shirts Society, the extreme-right wing terrorist group committed the assassination. There were political turmoil between Pyongnam Korean Committee for the Preparation of the Re-establishment of the State (KCRRS) which led the political leadership in North Korea and Pyongnam Communist Party branch which tried to turn over the leadership with the support of Soviet Red Army just arrived at Pyongyang. Especially in the middle of the struggle between right wing Peace-Preserving Corps and left wing Red-Guard, Hyun Junhyuk was assassinated. The assassins were worked for Pyongnam KCRRS Peace-Preserving Corps and related with White Shirts Society. Lyom Dongjin fled to Seoul and organized the White Shirts Society. Lyom also assassinated Kim Hyuk who knew Lyom’s Japanese spy background history. When the anti-trusteeship movement upheaval was prevailed in early 1946, White Shirts Society started terrorist maneuver against North Korean leaders. Agents of White Shirts Society tried to assassinate Kim Ilsung and Kang Ryangwook in March 1946. The terrorist attack of White Shirts Society reflected the legacy of right wing-left wing political struggle which was happened in Pyongyang shortly after Korea liberation.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 255-281; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.255
The purpose of this study is to examine the history of military rule in Myanmar under the perspective of autonomous history and to elucidate what its political dynamics have been. Based on a series of events with special contexts, the process of military rule, ideology, and personality will be examined according to three periods respectively. Therefore, I would like to reconsider the various meanings of military rule in the current political situation in Myanmar, where the democratic system that Myanmar people aspire to has not been established and has returned to military rule. In the first and second periods, the roles and actions of the military were determined by the leading personality and the political ideology he believed in. In the third period, however, it seems that the military rule would continue as a way to maintain the military privileged class created during the second period. The fact that the military did not easily collapse was not only in the Cold War era and the value of Myanmar’s natural resources externally, but also domestically, the status of the military, guaranteed by the 2008 Constitution, could not be ignored.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 282-319; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.282
This thesis aimed to criticize the contents of slavery in the Joseon Dynasty, mentioned in Lee Yeong-Hoon’s book 『Is Sejong Truly a Great King?』 published in 2018. As one of the reasons why Sejong cannot be a ‘great king’, Lee Yeong-Hoon’s book above points out that he largely contributed to the development of slavery system. Also, in Korean history, the slavery system was the most developed in the Joseon Dynasty, and during the 15th~17th century, the number of slaves was almost 40% of whole population. Moreover, the slaves in the Joseon Dynasty were described as the ‘socially-dead’ state after losing the dignity of man. And the ruling class defended the social order based on the Confucian justification. The characteristics of slavery system in the Joseon Dynasty mentioned in this book, are originally based on his research performance. Even though his researches on the slavery system in the Joseon Dynasty include very important contents in the research history, they have not been seriously reviewed or criticized in the academia. Moreover, this book includes many things that deny his academic argument or sensationally highlight the contents. Thus, this thesis first reviewed the critical points and significance in the research history by reviewing his academic argument. Next, this thesis also reviewed the contents of slavery system mentioned in 『Is Sejong Truly a Great King?』. Lastly, this thesis mentioned the ultimate contents that Lee Yeong-Hoon’s description of slavery system aimed for, shown in the book above. Eventually, he just added the socioeconomic interpretation to the old frame of the theory of national ruin by Confucianism through the slavery system.
Critical Review of History, Volume 136, pp 126-154; https://doi.org/10.38080/crh.2021.08.136.126
This paper noted the politics of representation of multi-scalar and multilateral borderscapes to examine the possibility of contact zones as research texts and a methodology. The process by which borderscapes make thought about borders multi-scalar and multilateral makes them see contact zones as an alternative space and dynamic frame of thought that clearly reveals the limits of national, ethnic, and dichotomous thinking. Borderscapes exist in the borderlands and at the same time make the border and borderlands exist away from it. Art Hotel Re:maker recently installed in Goseong is an example of the former, the documentary film All live Olive with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra is examples of the latter. Art Hotel Re:maker transforms the national and security-oriented borderlands’ landscape into a multi-scalar and multilateral platform. Orchestra and documentary film also acquire the meaning of borderscapes as devices for revisiting borders and representing transboundary life by infiltrating borders or borderlands into the daily life of everyone in the world. This aspect of existence of the borderscape extends the borders to contact zones with the borders and suggests the possibility as a methodology seeking liberation from borders. The contact zones study is distinguished from the existing border study in that it distances the border from the existing marginalized image. Multi-scalar bordercapes make contact zones into nearby subjective place rather than distant other’s space, and approach the possibility of contact zones as a methodology by juxtaposing the origins of pre-border and the future of trans-borders. Contact Zones research and contact zones as a methodology are closely linked with social practice that eventually discovers multi-scalar and multilateral borderscapes and creates a variety of platforms for reciprocating the values of reconciliation and coexistence.