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Post-cold War and the Sustainability of Battlefield Tourism in East Asia: A Case Study of Kinmen

  • Prof. Keun-Sik JUNG 鄭根埴
Thursday 17 March 2016
Rapenburg 59
2311 GJ Leiden
IIAS Conference Room

To the global audience, the post-cold war story of Kinmen is relatively rare although Kinmen as a cold war island is known very well. In 1992, Kinmen saw the lifting of martial law and since then, the central government withdrew the armies gradually in Taiwan. Kinmen people began to enjoy freedom and democracy, but they faced the dilemma of economic depression at the same time owing to the decline of military industry. As a result, Kinmen people had to find a new way to continue their lives beyond the crisis. They realized the direct and indirect legacy of cold war as sources of battlefield tourism. They positively utilized some ruins of military facilities and cold war ecology for the tourism.

In the case of battlefield tourism in Kinmen, two guests from Taiwan and mainland China, have different expectations and tastes. For Taiwan tourists, Kinmen was a mystical frontline islet and the protector of the security of the Taiwanese. For Chinese tourists, Kinmen was a symbolic place of the separation of China and also a taboo island which was full of KMT’s(Kuomintang)ideology. However, these images have been utilized as useful sources of battlefield tourism in Kinmen.

As the battlefield tourism has been developed in Kinmen, Xiamen city, a twin city opposite of Kinmen, also tried a corresponding battlefield tourism through revitalizing Chinese military sites and mobilizing the past psychological war memory in Dadengdao.

Nowadays, as the battlefield tourism has been confronted by the decrease of fascinations, Kinmen tourist bureau is trying to add cultural elements including redevelopment of traditional Minnan style houses to folk inns and transformation of Western style houses to historical museums of abroad China into the battlefield tourism. Even though this more culturally reformulated strategy would achieve a good result, the sustainability of battlefield tourism has become a new disputable agenda due to the limited ecological capacities.

The speaker

Keun-Sik JUNG (鄭根埴, ksjung@snu.ac.kr) holds the position of Professor (2003-present) at the Department of Sociology at Seoul National University (SNU) and Director of the Northeast Asia institute, Asia Center, Seoul National University (SNUAC). From 1985 until 2013 he was a Professor at Chonnam National University, Kwangju. Prof. Jung currently holds two chairs: the Chair of Korean Oral History Association  (2015.1-2016.12)  and the Chair of Korean Cold War Studies Association  (2015.6-2017.5). Until recently, Jung also was the Chair of the Senate of Seoul National University (2013.12-2015.10). 

He has a Ph. D. in Sociology (1991) from Seoul National University, where he also obtained his B.A. in Sociology (1980). 

He was a Guest Professor at the Frei University in Berlin, Germany (2016.2-7); a Visiting Scholar at Academia Sinica in Taiwan (2008.7); a Visiting Scholar at The University of Chicago, USA (2007.8-08.6); a Foreign Fellow Researcher at Kyoto University (2001.8-02.7); and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University, USA (1993.7-94.7).

Jung's main interests are Historical Sociology and Social Movement. Topics include; Leprosy History, Colonial Censorship Studies, Democratization and Transitional Justice, Memory studies, East Asia Cold war studies. Current Issue: Soviet war monuments in global perspective.


If you would like to attend this lecture, please register by sending an email to h.m.van.der.minne@iias.nl

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