809 West 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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This lecture by KSI AKS postdoctoral scholar, Jae Kyun Kim offers a critical perspective on the overlooked history of race in Korea by highlighting two earlier historical periods, precolonial and late colonial Korea, and sheds light on the ways in which Koreans navigated the "modern" world in racial terms not only under global white supremacy but also global antiblackness without the corporeal presence of Black people and their imagined racial inferiors. Examining precolonial Korea facing immanent colonial threat, this lecture first reveals race, especially antiblackness in a relation to racial slavery, was foundational in Koreans' taking in and taking on the treacherous world. While Koreans recognized the closing distance between themselves and their imagined racial inferiors, they never lost their racist faith that there would and should always be a gap. Second, against the widespread belief that racism against Southeast Asians in contemporary South Korea has been considered as accidental ignorance of racial (or ethnic) nationalism, this lecture explores the significance of antiblackness in construction of racism against Southeast Asians in late colonial Korea by demonstrating how their imagined backwardness was constructed vis-à-vis that of Black people.

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This lecture is supported by the Core University Program for Korean Studies through the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and Korean Studies Promotion Service of the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS-2014-OLU-2250003).

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