Colloquium Series on Korean Cultural Studies
“Queer Geopolitics: Unsettling Security and Troubling Minority”
Ju Hui Judy Han, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto
Moderated by Theodore Hughes, Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Korean Studies in the Humanities, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
Thursday, December 8, 2016, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Kent Hall Lounge, Room 403
No registration required.
Co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and the Korea Foundation
Whether referred to as ‘LGBTI’ in coalitional terms of identity politics or as ‘sexual minority’ to emphasize relations of power and marginalization, queer formations in South Korea urge expression of non-normative gender and sexual identity and recognition of dissident sexual subjectivity. In recent years, queer critique has challenged masculinist labour movements and heteronormative women’s movements, troubling militarism and ableism and becoming more legible in the broad social movement landscape. Taking place at the same time, however, is the emergence of intensified bigotry in the political sphere and the persistence of institutional heterosexism, most prominently represented by the conservative Protestant-led opposition to anti-discrimination policies in the name of geopolitical security and a ‘moral majority.’ Drawing from ongoing research on the transpacific infrastructure of Christian conservatism and minority discourse, this talk takes as a starting point the place of the rainbow flag in the South Korean protest landscape. The stakes of queer dissent and minority politics are all the more critical, I argue, in the context of mass mobilizations and political upheavals currently underway.