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Red Love in Korea: Rethinking Communism, Feminism and Sexuality
Red Love in Korea: Rethinking Communism, Feminism and Sexuality a lecture by Ruth Barraclough (Australian National University)
In Korea the history of a socialist movement cannot be told without accounting for the phenomenon of “red love”. Not only did the delicious scandals of the love affairs of socialists do vital work to popularise socialism in the 1920s and early 1930s, it has defined the role of Korea’s early female communists ever since. These love stories that anticipated “actually existing socialism” remind us that eros and the call to revolution have routinely gone together. In 1945 when Japan lost its colonies and Korea was divided into North (under temporary Soviet occupation) and South (temporary US occupation) these love stories resurfaced as journalists went in search of the old revolutionaries who had disappeared in the late 1930s or spent the war years in prison. Red love thus became a life narrative, punctuated by prison and child-rearing and even apostasy, but nonetheless a key article that revealed the feminine (and sometimes feminist) qualities of socialism. This talk examines the love stories of some of Korea’s most famous communist women to look closely at the way desire was structured in the early communist movement.
Ruth Barraclough is the author of Factory Girl Literature Sexuality, Violence, and Representation in Industrializing Korea (Seoul-California Series in Korean Studies, 2012).
Lecture will be followed by a discussion. Refreshments will be served.
This event is jointly sponsored by the Center for the Study of Asia and the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Boston University.