GAS Seminar 「Contemporary Queer Studies in Korea and the Intersections of Asian Localities」 のお知らせ




題目:Contemporary Queer Studies in Korea and the Intersections of Asian Localities




Session 1. "Kissing Soldiers: Military Fetishism and Queer politics in South Korea"

Wonkeun Chun (Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Jeju National University)

In South Korea, the emergence and visibility of the LGBTQI movement occurred within a deeply militarized society. This research seeks to elucidate the intersectionality between security politics and LGBT politics in South Korea, with a focus on the images of 'kissing soldiers.' These images, captured on border security cameras, films, artworks, and dating apps, challenge and question the fundamental and affective constructs of 'Division, Unification, and Security,' through which Koreans perceive their nationhood identity. This study highlights three spheres in which 'kissing soldiers' are problematized: the discourse of Korean Unification (imagination), the internal identification of allies and enemies (law and institution), and military fetishism (cultural practices). The 'kissing soldiers' of the Korean peninsula propose alternative futures, critiquing the normative narratives composed of interconnected interpretations of Division, Unification, and Security.

Session 2. "Creating Connected Lives of Island-Minorities - On The Case of Jeju City's Gay Bar"

Kyungjun Shin (PhD Student, Department of Sociology, Jeju National University)

Jeju was seen as a geographically isolated province with a culture of nepotism and interconnected relationships. This image of a closed community on a disconnected island was often perceived as a culturally barren environment for LGBT people to live in. This study explores the intersection of this imagined Jeju locality and the male gay subculture by conducting participant observation in eight male gay bars, or "this side bars," in Jeju City(Jeju-si) to see what kind of life they create that differs from the ideal of being gay in the homonormative metropolis of Seoul. Jeju City is a place where the geography of an island and the scale of a provincial town intersect, and where tourism and internationalization policies intersect. This localization of Jeju creates a unique set of affects and experiences for gay men living in Jeju. The gay people in Jeju often long for the life and culture of gay in Seoul, and they do not readily disclose their sexual minority status in their daytime lives due to the sense that their relationships with relatives and neighbors are closely interconnected. However, by going to gay bars at night and utilizing these island conditions, they create new connections and construct a different kind of life than during the day. This intersection of minority subcultures and island conditions that refract mainstream locality is conceptualized as 'island-minority' performativity. This study critiques homonormativity by depicting these refractive performativities of island-minorities in Jeju. I also propose that we can read the life-making of being variously positioned as social minorities through the concept of island minority.

Session 3. "Inter-Asian Exchanges and Alliance in Pride Movements: Experience of Seoul Queer Culture Festival and Tokyo Rainbow Pride"

Sumi Cho (Associate Professor, Bangmok College of General Education, Myongji University)

This paper examines the exchanges and growing sense of inter-Asian coalition between Seoul Queer Culture Festivals (SQCF) and Tokyo Rainbow Pride (TRP) since the mid-2010s, in the contexts of queer activism and queer tourism. SQCF, the first and biggest Pride event in South Korea, has grown in scale and influence in queer activism from less than 100 visitors at its beginning of 2000 up to 150,000 in 2019 before the pandemic. Despite its steady growth, queer activism in S Korea has been in a constant struggle with homophobic backlash mainly propelled by the Christian right, which manifests as the aggressive anti-Pride protesters at each queer culture festival. On the other hand, TRP, having established itself in the current form in 2011, has been relatively more successful in getting support from businesses, organizations, and the local government and able to hold its events in peace, in the general absence of active anti-LGBT forces in Japan.

Due to the geographical proximity and travelling convenience, TRP has been the most frequent destination for Korean queer visitors among Asian Prides. The lack of animosity and presence of diverse allies at TRP have been a source of inspiration to Korean participants, including SQCF organizers, personally as well as in the context of activism. Korean participation in TRP had remained mostly individual, but since 2015 SQCF and TRP started exchanges at the organizational level, in which they send official delegates to the other’s events who run booths, give celebratory speeches in the opening ceremony, and participate in the parade. Such official participations allow both Pride organizers and participants to tangibly see that there are people and organizations for LGBTQ+ rights, not only in their own area but across the country and around the world.

Based on archival records of both events and in-depth interviews with organizational and individual participants of SQCF and TRP, this study examines the growing sense of belonging and solidarity into inter-Asian queer consciousness through regional coalitions. In doing so, this study explores a possibility of alliance between citizens across the countries based on their shared conditions and goals, in a period of the resurgence of nationalistic animosities between younger generations of Asians.

主催:GAS, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, University of Tokyo

共催:Dr. Dong-Hyeon LIM (Korean Foundation for International Cultural Exchange)




登録者 :GAS事務局・多田
掲載期間:20240703 - 20240724
当日期間:20240724 - 20240724