Teaching Initiative

Teaching Initiative to End the Korean War

In collaboration with the National Campaign to End the Korean War, the Alliance of Scholars Concerned About Korea (ASCK) has launched a three-year Teaching Initiative to End the Korean War.

Scholars participating in the initiative have 1) indicated agreement with our statement (see below), and 2) committed to teaching at least one course on the Korean War, or a course that includes a significant focus on the Korean War, between Fall, 2010 and Spring, 2013.

To join the initiative, please send an email to sign@asck.org noting your agreement with the statement and the term/year in which you plan to teach the appropriate class. 

Suzy Kim, a member of the steering committee, is the media contact for the initiative. She can be reached at: suzyk@hotmail.com

ASCK Statement on the Teaching Initiative to End the Korean War

As scholars concerned about Korea, we inaugurate this three-year Teaching Initiative (2010-2013) to foster informed dialogue and political engagement on our campuses and among the wider public in order to help bring about the signing of a peace treaty between the United States and North Korea.

Sixty years have passed since the start of the Korean War, a war in which millions of civilians died and the United States came perilously close to dropping atomic bombs. Only an armistice holds a fragile peace along the heavily militarized “demilitarized zone” that separates the armies of North Korea, South Korea, and the United States. Given that a return to active hostilities is an ever-present danger, we believe that this armistice must be replaced by a peace treaty as a crucial step toward reconciliation on the Korean peninsula, an essential element in establishing genuine peace in Northeast Asia.

As scholars in the humanities and social sciences who teach in North America, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America, we take part in this initiative from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, employing a variety of pedagogical approaches. Yet, we are united in our aim of countering the overwhelming lack of historical consciousness about “the Forgotten War” and its ramifications.

Essential to the Teaching Initiative to End the Korean War is our emphasis on critical historiography as a way of challenging the Cold War security logic that continues to skew understandings of the war, including its origins, character, and ongoing legacy. In new or existing courses that address the Korean War, we aim in particular to wrestle squarely with the history of U.S. intervention on the Korean peninsula, U.S. conduct in the war, and the subsequent long enmity between the United States and North Korea.

Through this initiative, we plan to explore questions such as the following: What were the motivations and consequences of the U.S. proposal to divide Korea along the 38th parallel after World War II? To what extent should the Korean War be understood as a civil war, with origins in social and political conflicts created under Japanese colonial rule? How was the Korean War pivotal to the entrenchment of the global Cold War and the emergence of the national security state? What have been the human costs of militarism and unending war on the Korean peninsula?

As educators, we bear an ethical responsibility to help generate the critical knowledge and understanding essential for an informed public to advocate effectively for true peace, genuine security, and lasting reconciliation for both Koreas and the United States. It is this sense of responsibility that motivates our participation in the Teaching Initiative to End the Korean War.

Participants in the Teaching Initiative to End the Korean War (6/25/2010)

Nancy Abelmann, Anthropology, University of Illinois
Michael Allen, History, Northwestern University
Jinsoo An, Design and Media, Hongik University
Charles Armstrong, History, Columbia University
Herbert Bix, Sociology, SUNY Binghamton
Adam Bohnet, Asian Studies, University of British Columbia
Grace Chae, Asian Studies, Wellesley College
Koen de Ceuster, Institute for Area Studies, Leiden University
Edward Chang, Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside
Kornel Chang, History Rutgers, University
Paul Chang, Underwood International College, Yonsei University
Grace Cho, Asian American Studies, CUNY
Kyeong Hee Choi, East Asian Lang & Civ, University of Chicago
Hyaeweol Choi, Center for Korean Studies, Australia National University
Hye Seung Chung, Cinema Studies, Oakland University
Jennifer J. Chung, Sociology, University of British Columbia
Donald N Clark, History, Trinity University
Bruce Cumings, History, University of Chicago
Lisa Kim Davis, Geography, UCLA
Alain Delissen, Centre Corée, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs, English, St. Olaf College
Alexis Dudden, History, University of Connecticut
John Duncan, Asian Lang & Cultures, UCLA
Henry Em, East Asian Studies, NYU
Heinz Insu Fenkl, English, SUNY New Paltz
Takashi Fujitani, Global Studies, Doshisha University
Marty Hart-Landsberg, Economics, Lewis and Clark College
Laura Hein, History, Northwestern University
Theodore Hughes, East Asian Lang & Cultures, Columbia University
Christine Hong, Literature, UC Santa Cruz
Kelly Jeong, Comparative Literature, UC Riverside
Jennifer Jung-Kim, Asian Lang & Cultures, UCLA
Charles Kim, History, U. of Wisconsin, Madison
Daniel Kim, English, Brown University
Elaine Kim, Asian American Studies, UC Berkeley
Eleana Kim, Anthropology, Rochester University
Janice C. H. Kim, History, York University
Jodi Kim, Asian American Studies, UC Riverside
Joy Kim, East Asian Studies, Princeton
Kyung Hyun Kim, East Asian Lang & Lit, UC Irvine
Lili M. Kim, History, Harvard University
Monica Kim, History, University of Michigan
Nan Kim, History, U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Richard Kim, Asian American Studies, UC Davis
Sun-Chul Kim, Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures, Barnard College
Sonya Kim, Asian Studies, SUNY Binghamton
Suzy Kim, Asian Lang & Cultures, Rutgers University
Thomas Kim, Political Science, Scripps College
Hagen Koo, Sociology, University of Hawaii, Manoa
J. Victor Koschmann, History, Cornell University
Tae Yang Kwak, History, Ramapo College
Nayoung A. Kwon, Asian Studies, Duke
James Kyung-Jin Lee, Asian American Studies, UC Irvine
Jin-Kyung Lee, Literature, UC San Diego
Namhee Lee, Asian Lang & Cultures, UCLA
Yoonkyung Lee, Sociology, SUNY Binghamton
Jorge Rafael Di Masi, Asian & Pacific Studies, Universidad Nacional de La Plata
Seungsook Moon, Sociology, Vassar College
Hwasook Nam, History, University of Washington
Robert Oppenheim, Asian Studies, University of Texas, Austin
Albert Park, History, Claremont McKenna
Eugene Park, History, University of Pennsylvania
Josephine Park, English, University of Pennsylvania
Janet Poole, Asian Studies, University of Toronto
Vladimir Noja Park, Culture Studies, University of Oslo
Michael Robinson, East Asian Lang & Cultures, Indiana University
Tammy Ko Robinson, Interdisciplinary Studies, San Francisco Art Institute
Youngju Ryu, Asian Lang & Cultures, University of Michigan
Andre Schmid, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto
Matthew A. Shapiro, Political Science, Illinois Institute of Technology
Michael Shin, Asian Studies, Cambridge University
Stephen Hong Sohn, English, Stanford University
Min Song, English, Boston College
Serk Bae Suh, East Asian Lang & Lit, UC Irvine
Yoon Sun Yang, Int’l Letters and Cultures, Arizona State University
Theodore Jun Yoo, History, University of Hawaii, Manoa
Marilyn Young, History, NYU
Ji Yeon Yuh, History, Northwestern University