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Grant number: FT-228625-15

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Suzy Kim
Rutgers University, New Brunswick (New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8559)

Women at War: Gender Politics in North Korea during the Cold War

Summer research and writing on Cultural and East Asian History.

This project examines the role of women and the politics of gender in North Korea during the Cold War. Rather than duplicating histories of the Cold War as a masculine battle of political acumen, this research emphasizes the dominance of women and feminine tropes as key to understanding North Korea. Women proved to be the primary cultural icons, and feminine tropes became models for emulation throughout society. If the construction of modern citizenship has always been a gendered process of delineating appropriate masculine and feminine roles in service of the state, this project asks how North Korean women (and men) were mobilized for war throughout the Cold War as sacrificial mothers. While there are parallels of sacrificial women in other contexts, North Korean developments were singular in the ascription of motherhood to men to create a new model of militarized citizenship that was at once masculine and feminine, and that drew on transnational Cold War cultures.

Project fields:
Cultural History; East Asian History; Gender Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2015 – 7/31/2015