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This article examines postwar housing in South Korea as a transnational project in the Cold War milieu. Privacy (p’ŭraibŏshi) became a central architectural concern in South Korea after the Korean War (1950–53), as Korean architects negotiated their understanding of good, modern housing in the midst of deepening interactions with American architectural knowledge. A call for the construction of independent children's rooms was linked to the belief that good housing should also ensure the sexual privacy of the married couple. This article argues that architects construed privacy to be a value that was attached to liberal democracies and that reflected postwar fantasies and desires for a democratic living in contradistinction to its North Korean counterpart. In this way, housing became a site of transnational anti-communism, as architects and aspiring homeowners invested much energy in the ideological and material construction of privacy as a salient feature of modern housing.
Recent colonial compensation lawsuits reflect the metamorphosis of historical grievances in collective public memory into tort claims in private law. This article provides a synthetic view of the nexus of colonial law and history in South Korea–Japan relations, focusing on cross-border litigation brought by former forced laborers and victims of sexual servitude known as “comfort women” during World War II. The concept of public policy (ordre public) in Korea, which has colonial origins, has long served law courts as the standard for deciding the validity of a juristic act. But of late heavy reliance on the general clauses of law in legal proceedings has risked turning history and law into handmaids of national spirit, muddling historical accountability and legal liability. Improvement of South Korea–Japan ties should start from a more accurate understanding of colonial laws and a rounded appreciation of their shared legal history.
Seventeenth-century Chinese literature thematizes market segmentation, the idea that functionally similar but different objects can be produced for and marketed to different ranks of people. A 1671 collection of classical essays, Xianqing ouji 閑情偶寄 by Li Yu 李漁 (1611–80), has generally been understood to be the most influential of lifestyle guides, containing essays about the theater, everyday life, and material culture. This article argues that price and quality differentiation when it comes to a variety of consumer goods forms a central organizing principle for the volume and provides a prism through which Xianqing ouji discusses social inequity and hierarchy.
Why does Mao's embalmed corpse continue to arouse powerful religious feelings among contemporary Chinese writers after the end of his rule, from fantasies of resurrection to yearnings for redemption? While extant scholarship focuses on the sociopolitical aspects of Mao's posthumous cult, this essay reveals the crucial role that literary narrative plays in the (un)making of Mao's quasi-religious appeal. Drawing on literary genres such as diary, memoir, science fantasy, and satirical fiction, I argue that the political theology of Mao can be read as a grand “political fiction” that linked the doubling of Mao's immortal body with the perpetual sovereignty of the Chinese Communist Party. However, even as literary narrative authorizes the political mythology of Mao, contemporary Chinese literature also demonstrates its capacity for ideological critique. My narrative begins with the party's controversial effort to sacralize Mao's biological remains, from the ritualized display of political sovereignty to the ambiguous allusion to religious miracle. Then I look at the bizarre resurrection of Mao's flesh in Liu Cixin's 劉慈欣 1989 science fiction novel China 2185. The story features a cybernetic uprising in the distant future, when a computer engineer breaks into the Mao mausoleum and “uploads” Mao's mind into cyberspace. Lastly, I draw on the satirical fictions of Yan Lianke 閻連科 and Chan Koonchung 陳冠中 to reveal the desacralizing impacts of neoliberal capitalism on the Maoist political religiosity.
This article analyzes stereotypes of Muslims that have recurred in Sinhala literature over the past seven centuries. This temporal span includes (1) a precolonial time when Muslims were a curiosity in Sinhala poetry as rich traders, wild men, and seductive women; (2) an early colonial time when the Portuguese and Dutch displaced more Muslims into the island interior, and Sinhala authors increasingly wrote of them as religious others akin to Tamils; and (3) a late colonial time when British policies forged religo-racial political categories in the decades leading up to the anti-Muslim pogroms of 1915. Each case is also connected to postcolonial instantiations or transformations of these typecasts. This history therefore eschews linear narratives of change to show the recurrent tendencies of social reasoning through stereotyping, past and present.
The making of regional and national imaginaries in colonial South Asia and indigenous elites’ role in this process are well documented. Less clearly understood are the cultural and social elements that were subordinated to the regional formations that prevailed. By focusing on the travel writings of Jhaverchand Meghani (1896–1947), a prominent intellectual and litterateur from western India, this article illustrates the internal configurations and contestations that underpinned the imaginings of regions in South Asia. Notably, Meghani saw the cultural preservation of Saurashtra as his life's mission. This article is the first to engage in a close reading of his travelogues, situating them in the wider context of emergent ideas of Gujarat in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It argues that by showcasing Saurashtra's particular folk and oral traditions, Meghani distinguished himself from the other regionalists and thus also sought to prevent Saurashtra's complete subsumption within the modern state of Gujarat.