Episode 142: How have North and South Korean relations and identities evolved over the last century?
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In this episode, Dr. Sarah Son (University of Sheffield) introduces us to her work in Korean studies, performing human rights research and monitoring, and investigating news reporting and media, popular culture and social movements, as well as nation-building, identity, security and peace-building on the Korean Peninsula.
What career and personal life influences led to Sarah living in East Asia and now researching historical and sociopolitical relations between North Korea and South Korea, as well as nation-building projects and identities within each state? What were the main events that led to the separation of Korea in the 1940s? Can we trace this back to the great kingdoms of Korea even before the twentieth century? How did separation affect people and government in both North and South Korea, and how have they evolved in the last 10-20 years?in
Throughout the conversation, Sarah also describes how specialists gather information about North Korea using satellite images and defector interviews, how views compare between the younger and older generation of Koreans, and whether recent meetings between the two current state leaders indicate more chance of reconciliation to come.
And finally, mostly indulging Michael's hopping on board the Korean Wave (or 한류 / Hallyu), Sarah discusses her thoughts on TV shows Crash Landing on You and Itawon Class, as well as the Oscar Best Picture, Parasite. Some of her recent research interests include using pop culture as an avenue through which to examine important questions on Korean penal systems, as well as social movements.
You can find more information in the show notes under the episode on our website.
If you have feedback or questions for Sarah, you can find her on her department website. Her writing for popular audiences can be found on The Conversation, including an article about Crash Landing on You and another on two North Korean defectors being recently elected to South Korea's National Assembly.
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