Cross-Currents, vol. 7, no. 2 (November 2018)

 Na Hyesŏk's Kaebyŏk (Pioneer), July 1921. Source: Reprint from the I Am Na Hyesŏk catalogue. Courtesy of the Suwon Museum.
Figure 1 from “Anarchism and Culture in Colonial Korea” by Sunyoung Park this issue. Na Hyesŏk’s Kaebyŏk (Pioneer), July 1921. Source: Reprint from the I Am Na Hyesŏk catalogue. Courtesy of the Suwon Museum.

The new issue of Cross-Currents includes a special section, “Writing Revolution Across Northeast Asia,” guest edited by Steven S. Lee. In his introduction, Lee writes that these articles build on existing scholarship by

“…revisiting Russian and Soviet visions of revolution and their fraught, indelible imprint on China, Japan, and Korea. The Soviet Union of the interwar years was distinct from European powers in its mobilization against Western empire and capitalism. Indeed, Russia itself had long been regarded in the West as semi-Asiatic, whereas its stunning defeat in the Russo-Japanese War had blurred long-standing racial and cultural hierarchies. Soviet-Asian encounters might therefore best be understood as intra-Asian—Russia as an ‘Oriental occident’ that, after 1917, beckoned progressive Asians with calls for socialist internationalism and national self-determination. These encounters contributed to the establishment of communist regimes in China and North Korea but also reveal internationalist paths not taken: ways of thinking across national boundaries even while pursuing national struggles against empire.

The special section includes the following scholarly articles:

Rethinking World Literature through the Relations between Russian and East Asian Literatures
Heekyoung Cho

Boris Pilniak and Sergei Tretiakov as Soviet Envoys to China and Japan and Forgers of New, Post-Imperial Narratives (1924–1926)
Katerina Clark

Writing Manchukuo: Peripheral Realism and Awareness in Kang Kyŏngae’s Salt
Jeehyun Choi

Demystifying the Nation: The Communist Concept of Ethno-Nation in 1920s–1930s Korea
Vladimir Tikhonov

Anarchism and Culture in Colonial Korea: Minjung Revolution, Mutual Aid, and the Appeal of Nature
Sunyoung Park

Afterword: Mapping Socialism Across Eurasia
Edward Tyerman

KABBALA (2013) by Choi Jeonghwa. Taegu Art Museum, Taegu.
From “Modernity, Plastic Spectacle, and an Imperfect Utopia” by Soyang Park this issue. KABBALA (2013) by Choi Jeonghwa. Taegu Art Museum, Taegu.

The issue opens with recent research on North and South Korea, including the following works:

Patriotic Revolutionaries and Imperial Sympathizers: Identity and Selfhood of Korean-Japanese Migrants from Japan to North Korea
Markus Bell

“Becoming” North Koreans: Negotiating Gender and Class in Representations of North Korean Migrants on South Korean Television
Eun Ah Cho

Modernity, Plastic Spectacle, and an Imperfect Utopia: A Critical Reflection on Plastic Paradise (1997) by Choi Jeonghwa
Soyang Park

Chosŏn-Qing Tributary Discourse: Transgression, Restoration, and Textual Performativity
Joshua Van Lieu

Not There for the Nutmeg: North Korean Advisors in Grenada and Pyongyang’s Internationalism, 1979–1983
Benjamin R. Young

About the Journal

Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review offers its readers up-to-date research findings, emerging trends, and cutting-edge perspectives on material from the sixteenth century to the present day that have significant implications for current models of understanding East Asian history and culture. Its semiannual print issues feature peer-reviewed content from the online version of the journal.

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