This book offers new insight on how key historical texts and events in Korea's history have contributed to the formation of the nation's collective consciousness. The work is woven around the unifying premise that particular narrative texts/events that extend back to the premodern period have remained important, albeit transformed, over the modern period and into the contemporary period. The author explores the relationship between gender and nationalism by showing how key narrative topics, such as tales of virtuous womanhood, have been employed, transformed, and re-deployed to make sense of particular national events. Connecting these narratives and historic events to contemporary Korean society, Jager reveals how these "sites" - or reference points - were also successfully re-deployed in the context of the division of Korea and the construction of Korea's modern consciousness.
Part I: Modern Identities; 1. The Violence of Civilization; 2. Aesthetic Ideology and the Nation; Part II: Women; 3. Signs of Love for the Nation; 4. Devoted Wives, Divided Nation; Part III: Men; 5. Park Chung-hee's Agrarian Heroes; 6. Students and the Redemption of History; 7. Monumental Histories; 8. Epilogue: Kim Dae Jung's Triumph