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De/militarized Ecologies: Making Peace with Nature Along the Korean DMZ

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Arts West

Parkville, Victoria 3010

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Public Lecture hosted by the Conflict, Development, Justice Research Cluster

School of Social and Political Sciences

The University of Melbourne



Eleana Kim (UC Irvine): 'De/militarized Ecologies: Making Peace with Nature Along the Korean DMZ'

Inspired by the flourishing of nonhuman nature in the context of unending war, a wide network of South Korean and international scientists, bureaucrats, journalists, natural scientists, citizen ecologists, and others have, since the late 1960s, sought visions of peace in the paradoxically protected nature of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. With the end of the Cold War, multiple national and transnational narratives have informed the cultural meanings of the Korean DMZ, which include hopes for interKorean reconciliation, dystopian futures of climate change and mass extinction, and what I identify as a South Korean peace imaginary that has emerged out of this particular historical conjuncture. This imaginary animates diverse discourses of peace, life, and nature, which are easy to dismiss as naive and romanticizing, but by focusing attention on actual multispecies encounters, this paper suggests how the DMZ’s ecologies might yet offer cosmopolitical alternatives to geopolitics as usual.

Eleana Kim is associate professor of anthropology at UC Irvine, and the author ofAdopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging (Duke UP, 2010), which received the James B. Palais Prize from the Association of Asian Studies, and the Social Science Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. Her research on the ecologies of the Korean DMZ has been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the ACLS, and related articles may be found in Cultural Anthropology, Social Research, and the forthcoming edited volume, How Nature Works (SAR Press).

Enquiries: Dr. Ryan Gustafsson, gus@unimelb.edu.au

Photo: Nicola Kountoupes

The University of Melbourne acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nations on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past, present and emerging.

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The pathway on the North East side of Arts West (Building 148) provides a continuous accessible path of travel to the cloister via the gardens. Once in the undercover cloister there are automated doors at both the North-West and South-East ends of the building. Alternatively there is access off Medical Road. At this entrance there is a platform lift to ascend to ground level. There is also a ramp at the northern end of the Baillieu Library (Building 177) that connects to the Arts West Atrium.

Once inside the Atrium there is an inclined surface that provides access to the lifts for the North and West wings. These provide access to every level. Moving between the North and West wings is either at grade, via a ramp within the atrium or lift near the western stair.

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Parkville, Victoria 3010

Australia

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