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Albert Park talk on Korean environmental history.
Wednesday, 12 April 2023, 12:00pm -  1:30pm
Location AB West Seminar Room 4052 
Contact Suzy Kim ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Korean Studies Lecture with Dr. Albert L. Park

Extracting Nature in Colonial Korea: Integrative Mapping through Agricultural Science 

  How was human authority over the non-human world emphasized and strengthened during the Japanese occupation of Korea through agricultural science? What scientific mechanisms of mediation emerged and altered the rhythms and patterns of nature, especially in conditioning the potential energy of nonhuman life? What is the relationship between science and imperialism in the modern world? This presentation examines the intersection between the capitalist modernization of agriculture in colonial Korea, the pathways of science to extract and reconfigure colonial bodies and landscapes as a way to align them with new systems, and the meaning of destruction on the Korean peninsula. It looks at these themes through a reading of The Suwŏn Agricultural Experiment Station, which was one of the largest agricultural stations in Imperial Japan. In so doing, this presentation explores the relationship between science, authority, and systems in the modern world. 

Albert L. Park is the Bank of America Associate Professor of Pacific Basin Studies at Claremont McKenna College. As a historian of modern Korea and East Asia, his current research project focuses on the roots of environmentalism in modern Korean history and its relationship to locality and local autonomy. The book project is tentatively titled Imagining Nature and the Creation of Environmental Movements in Modern Korea. He is the author of Building a Heaven on Earth: Religion, Activism and Protest in Japanese Occupied Korea (Hawaii 2014) and is the co-editor of Encountering Modernity: Christianity and East Asia (Hawaii 2014) and Forces of Nature: New Perspectives on Korean Environments (Cornell 2023). He is the book series editor of Environments of East Asia published by Cornell University Press, and serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Asian Studies.

Korean Studies Lecture with Dr. Albert L. Park