Nam Center Colloquium Series: "Reading Volcano Island: Reflections on Jeju 4.3 on its Sixty-Fifth Year"
In this talk Sonia Ryang tries to visit, intellectually, her ancestral home, Jeju Island, of South Korea. On April 3, 1948, sporadic uprisings began on the island in opposition to the South-only election that was scheduled for May 10. Things worsened and massive suppression ensued, resulting in hundreds and thousands of casualties. By using “Volcano Island” written by Kim Seok-beom, a Korean writer in Japan who originated from Jeju, as a text of inquiry, Sonia Ryang discusses the absense of proper language to capture the Jeju 4.3 Uprising of 1948 and subsequent atrocities on the island.
Sonia Ryang is a Professor of Anthropology and International Studies and Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair of Korean Studies in the University of Iowa. She currently serves as the Director of Academics in the International Programs. As a social anthropologist (PhD Cambridge) Ryang is the author of a number of books including, most recently, Reading North Korea: An Ethnological inquiry (2012, Harvard). Her forthcoming book is entitled Eating Korean: A Gastronomic Ethnography of Authenticity (Hawaii).