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Workshops on the Frontier: Culture and Counterinsurgency in Korea’s Vietnam War

Headshot of Thomas Ryan; black-and-white photo of Korean couples in wedding attire (men are mostly in wheelchairs); descriptive text (event title, date, time, location)
Thursday, February 15, 2024
1:15 pm - 2:45 pm
Thomas Ryan (postdoctoral fellow, Nam Center for Korean Studies, University of Michigan)

The South Korean Vietnam War deployment (1965-1973) was celebrated as a successful exercise in the mass mobilization of the home front into material and ideological expressions of voluntary support for the war.

Exploring a diverse set of forgotten Korean-language sources, this talk will show that the deployment did not always serve the ends of domestic counterinsurgency, as the disorganized pursuit of Vietnam as a "total war" at home also compelled deviant forms of cultural and economic activity.
About the speaker:

Thomas M. Ryan is a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan. He is a cultural and intellectual historian of modern Korea with research interests in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, Cold War migration, anticommunist ideology, and literature and visual culture. His book manuscript is a cultural history of home front mobilization in southern Korea from the collapse of the Japanese Empire to the fall of Saigon.

Contact: AMES Department