Thus, I am interested in the subject formation of the adoptee both prior to and after adoption. In other words, I am just as invested in the figure of the Korean orphan as I am in the Korean adoptee—perhaps, even more so. Without the orphan, there is no adoptee; hence, there is no Korean adoption. As a result, the Korean orphan becomes a key figure in examining the subject formation of the Korean adoptee. The figure of the Korean orphan is also significant in terms of identifying other beginnings of Korean adoption. The relationship between reorienting the beginnings of Korean adoption and the presence of the Korean orphan is telling.
If we want to reconsider the emergence of Korean adoption, we must take into account the figure of the orphan. My project participates in this most recent effort to locate alternative starting points regarding Korean adoption; however, this dissertation departs from these previously mentioned projects in three significant ways. First, rather than taking for granted that Korean adoption emerged from the tragic and devastating conditions caused by the Korean War, I challenge this assumption.
I do so because if Korean adoption emerged as a natural consequence of war, then why does it still persist 50 years later? Thus, I suggest that rather than a natural consequence of war, Korean adoption emerged from the neocolonial relations between the U. So rather than situating Korean adoption within the context of the Korean War , I situate it in light of U. I contend that it is impossible to understand the complex conditions that produced Korean adoption without attending to the figure of the orphan because it is the orphan rather than the adoptee that makes visible the militarized and neocolonialist conditions of Korean adoption.
As such, the orphanages in Korea that were engineered, financed, and constructed by U. Armed Forces—which to date have been unexamined and undocumented in scholarly writings—become a key site in not only proposing another emergence of Korean adoption but also locating the arrival of the Korean orphan as a militarized subject. Just because a child is an orphan does not mean that he or she will become an adoptee. On the contrary, it takes innumerable resources, people, and institutional support to make an orphan adoptable. Thus, this dissertation also attends to the process in which orphans become adoptees.
To date, no study exists that proposes the U. Neither is there a detailed study on the specific ways in which U. It is in these specific ways that I broaden the field and expand the scope of the current discussions taking place considering the construction of the Korean orphan and the emergence Korean adoption. On the Importance of Korean Adoptee Cultural Production The purpose of tracing the genealogy of the Korean orphan is to track the subject formation of the Korean adoptee.
As stated earlier, much of the scholarship on Korean adoption has been organized around the figure of the adoptee. And the primary methods used to study this figure have been predominantly quantitative methodologies of social science, which focus on issues of identity and adjustment. To reiterate, the first published study on Korean adoptee adjustment was in Between and , Kim collected data through the use of mailed questionnaires.
They feel good about growing up with the families they did. They are committed to maintaining close ties with their adopted families and are supportive of policies that promote transracial adoptions. Through their literature, film, and visual art, adult Korean adoptee artists are providing a more complicated and complex narrative of Korean adoption than the one told by social scientists. Since the s, a body of cultural work produced by Korean adoptee themselves—including literary and cinematic personal narratives, visual art, fiction, poetry, and mixed-genre artwork—has flourished.
We hope to shatter these illusions, sowing new seeds for future generations not be silent—to seek out themselves and each other, to define, re- define, explore, and question. What these works reveal that past quantitative studies on Korean adoptee identity do not address are the complex ways in which racial, cultural, and national differences affect adoptee identity. By highlighting the contradictions of Korean adoption, these personal narratives act as counterhegemonic narratives.
It is for these reasons that I juxtapose the historical pieces of my project with these contemporary enunciations of Korean adoption. In putting contemporary Korean adoptee cultural production in conversation with archival documents, I also want to illustrate how the geopolitical and neocolonial conditions that produced Korean adoption also informed the subject formations of Korean adoptees themselves. It is through these contemporary enunciations by Korean adoptee artists that we see how certain neocolonialist and geopolitical activities have affected the adoptee.
If the figure of the orphan enables us to get at the historical dimensions of Korean adoption, then the figure of the adoptee allows us to get at how history informs the present. And because I believe that any study on Korean adoptee identity formation should include these current works by adult adoptee artists, my examination of the adoptee draws from these contemporary writings.
By analyzing the flow of goods, services, images, and ideas that criss-crossed between the U. Specifically, U. In this sense, Korean adoption is not unrelated to other Asian migrations that were sparked by U. In addition, my project disrupts notions of American exceptionalism by revealing the simultaneous dependence and disavowal of American imperialism upon which the U. I do this by explicating the ways in which the U. This relationship that developed between military intervention and humanitarian rescue ushered in a new kind of American neocolonialism: what I call, American humanitarianism empire.
Through this particular form of neocolonialism, the U. In other words, through American humanitarianism empire, the U. These other elements at play in the production and development of American neocolonialism are the twin projects of U.
As two sides of the American neocolonial coin, my dissertation fleshes out not only the ways in which military intervention and humanitarian efforts have compelled Asian immigration but also how militarized humanitarianism became a key strategy in building U. What Korean adoption does for American studies and Asian American studies then is a expand the geographical sphere of American empire by locating Korea as one entry point concerning the development of American neocolonialism during the Cold War; b reveal the nuanced manifestations of American empire and empire-building tactics i.
Methodology A central objective of my dissertation is to investigate the subject formation of the orphan and the adoptee. Their genealogies can neither be contained by a single story nor can the nuances be fleshed out with a single disciplinary approach or theoretical framework. Therefore, retelling the story of Korean adoption through these two figures not only requires multiple theoretical frameworks but also multiple methodologies pulled from various disciplines and interdisciplines.
Thus, the overarching methodology that frames my project is interdisciplinarity. It is in these moments where we can observe the investments, particularly on the part of the U. As an interdisciplinary study of Korean adoption, my dissertation employs historical methods and cultural studies methods. The archival research I conducted resulted in a collection of primary sources that includes U. Department of Defense during the s which to date have been unanalyzed in scholarly writings , newsreels from the s, newspaper and magazine articles from the s and s, and administrative files and newsletters of adoption agencies from the s to s.
In addition, I engage with the contemporary literary productions of Korean adoptees. Quotes from their literary and cinematic works are embedded throughout the chapters, along with a literary analysis of the memoir The Language of Blood by Jane Jeong Trenka in my final chapter. Historicism is characterized by universalism and is unconcerned with the theoretical. Furthermore, by attending to the contradictions and silences that have gathered around American empire building in Korea, I reveal how Korean adoption has become the theoretical armature for American humanitarianism empire.
As a methodology, I employ transnationalism to investigate the flow of people, politics, services, money, images, and ideas exchanged between the United States and Korea. The intersectional analysis for which women of color feminisms are known is crucial to my investigation of the orphan and adoptee because their subject formation is dependent on the interlocking relationship between the social formations of race, gender, sexuality, class, and empire.
Finally, I juxtapose Foucauldian analysis Chapter 3 with queer critique Chapter 4 to explore what I consider to be the primary paradox of Korean adoption: it being a nonnormative formation of kinship disguised as normative. Therefore, what queer critique does for my project is help me situate Korean adoption as a regime of the normal, as well as attend to the contradictions that emerge from structuring Korean adoption as a normative kinship formation.
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In other words, I am less interested in how Korean adoption paves the way for nonnormative conceptions of family and more interested in how its investments in white heteronormativity effect the subject formation of the adoptee. By queering Korean adoption in this way, I reveal the nuanced ways in which heteronormativity coalesces with whiteness and middle-class respectability to cover up anxieties concerning racial, cultural, and biological difference within structures of kinship.
Thus, I employ queer criticism to uncover not only the normalization of the adoptee but also her queering. It is important to note that because of the breadth and diversity of my primary sources, it is impossible to use these varied theoretical frameworks all at the same time or sustain the use of each one throughout the entire dissertation. Because this project is interdisciplinary at its core, I see the methods and theoretical frameworks listed here as merely tools in my analytical kit.
A single tool cannot be used for all tasks. Despite the seemingly disparate nature of my analytical tool kit, taken together, the methods and methodologies that make up my critical framework of analysis reveal my scholarly and political investments in deconstructing and combating hegemonic notions of history and subjectivity through the production of alternative epistemologies by attending to new subjects, objects of inquiry, and points of entry.
Summary of Chapters As previously stated in the Preface, this dissertation is interested in telling three interconnected stories. The first story provides the backdrop and setting that eventually led to the intimate encounter between American servicemen and Korean War orphans that is depicted in Figure 1.
It is here where we can see how Korean adoption enters the field of American humanitarianism empire. The second story explains the process in which Korean orphans are made adoptable—the process that turns Korean orphans into Korean adoptees—via the technologies of discipline and normalization that were instituted in Korean orphanages. And finally, the third story—which overlaps with the first two stories—follows the Korean adoptee to the U.
Thus, my dissertation is organized to reflect these three stories. In addition, I reveal how U. The highly racialized, gendered, and sexualized process of U. This chapter draws on archival research I conducted at the National Archives and features Congressional reports from and film reels produced by the Department of Defense during the s. While the first two chapters are primarily concerned with the subject formation and integration of the orphan, the last two chapters of my dissertation are primarily focused on the subject formation and integration of the adoptee. I argue that it is here, in the orphanage, that the subject formation of the adoptee is forged.
This chapter draws from Holt Adoption Program newsletters, along with administrative files and letters from other adoption agencies all from the s and s that were collected from the research I conducted at the Social Welfare History Archives. Finally, I want to explain my use of embedded images and texts throughout the chapters. Where thinking suddenly stops in configuration pregnant with tensions, it gives that configuration a shock….
I arrest the flow of thought in order to feel the fullness of each dangerous moment. Understanding the figures of the orphan and adoptee as geopolitical and socioeconomic constructions is significant not only because it denaturalizes Korean adoption but also because it illuminates the pivotal role they played in building and nurturing neocolonial relations between the U.
Indeed, the practice of Korean children being adopted into white American homes continues to foster dependency between these two nations. By reorienting Korean adoption through the figure of the Korean War orphan, I make legible the material conditions of U. I focus on the U. I discuss this further in Chapter 3. This, along with the provision in the National Origins Quota of which stated that people ineligible for citizenship could not immigrate into the United States , restricted people of Asian descent from entering the country. This practice was criticized by licensed social welfare agencies because it eschewed the minimum standards of adoption: investigation, supervision, and probation.
The supervision and probationary periods were particularly important because it provided both parties a trial period in which the child lived with his or new family before the adoption was finalized. Proxy adoptions eliminated these safeguards which led to abuses and risky matches. I engage in a more detailed discussion of proxy adoptions in Chapter 3.
This article is based on her book-length project concerning the institutional history of Korean adoption. Bouchard Ithaca: Cornell University Press, : ; They seek to provide social services to children and families separated by international borders. After the Korean War, however, they began participating in placing Korean orphans into American homes.
See Choy, Ironically, it was the years following that U. See Sarri et al. But in , the Ministry revised the date to To date, nearly 2, children are sent abroad every year. Korea continues to be a leader in transnational adoption, moving from first place to being the fourth largest sending country after China, Ethiopia, and Russia. On the contrary, two recently published works attend to the militarized dimensions of Asian transnational adoption. Kim does admit that as the adoptees grow older and have more interaction outside their family and communities, their racial difference may play a more significant part in their sense of identity On the contrary, notable works include Kim Su Theiler, dir.
Johnnella E. See part I of her essay for a fuller accounting of her argument. Here, Kaplan is referring to William Apple Williams who states that one of the central themes of American historiography is that there is no American Empire. Hannah Arendt, trans. If imperialism is the concept or logic behind colonization, then colonialism is the practice In the case of Korea, however, the neocolonial relations between the U.
Therefore, I prefer E. The newly independent state has the appearance of sovereignty when, in reality, it continues to be ruled by the economic and political policies of the former colonizer. San Juan, Jr. It encompasses the political, economic, and administrative machine of conquest Their definition of transnationalism as both a process and methodology emphasizes social relations rather than cultural flows in order to highlight migration.
How is it possible that Korean adoption persists today when war orphans and war-like conditions have ceased? After all, the adoption programs that were created to help find homes for post-WWII orphans in Europe were terminated after the postwar crisis ended. How the American government chose to deal with Korea in the years leading up to the Korean War had far reaching consequences.
The neocolonial relationship that the U. To be more specific, this chapter argues that the U. And it is this imperial project that constituted Korean adoption. It depends on U. This new form of empire building was especially important and necessary considering the ideological and geopolitical demands of the Cold War. Despite the fact that white settler colonialism precipitated the formation of the U. Within the context of the Cold War, the promotion of this myth became especially important as the United States vied for world power against the Soviet Union.
In the case of the newly decolonized Korea—whose decolonization from Japan was secured ironically with the help of U. Thus, through American humanitarian empire, the United States is able to preserve this myth of American exceptionalism while, at the same time, invest in imperial activities overseas under the new geopolitics of the Cold War. The first section focuses on militarization. It focuses on the five years leading up to the Korean War from in order to establish how U.
I explain how the occupation of southern Korea established the first side of the American neocolonial coin: military intervention and occupation. Still images, poetry, and artwork are inserted in this first section to remind the reader of how U. Juxtaposed against the history of U. The second section of this chapter focuses on the other side of the neocolonial coin: humanitarianism. In this section, I examine how U. The U. In so doing, neocolonial relations between the United States and Korea became preserved through this practice.
Together, these two sections work to link U. Furthermore, the combination of these two sections works to establish the direct connection between American humanitarianism empire and the emergence of Korean adoption. While there is a substantial and exciting body of scholarship that considers how Korean military prostitutes nurtured neocolonial relations between the U. More specifically, the Korean orphan has been configured as a tool of American humanitarianism empire. Therefore, I end this chapter by investigating the ways in which the figure of the orphan not only comes to symbolize American humanitarianism empire but also reproduces neocolonial relations by replicating the culture of militarized prostitution.
To be clear, this final section explains how the culture of U. The military culture of camptown life seeped into the orphanage and informed the ways in which these children were interpreted by American soldiers. Consequently, the process of militarization reproduced the key players in militarized prostitution: for male orphans, becoming militarized refigured them as American soldiers, while female orphans were recast as Korean military prostitutes.
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Thus, the militarization of postwar orphans evokes the culture and discourse of militarized prostitution. This act of looking and desiring becomes another form of military invasion and intrusion. Because the U. As a way to evenly distribute the work, Korea was divided arbitrarily at the 38th parallel by two U. It was decided that the Russians would be responsible for the northern half, while the U. Working together, the Soviet Union and the U.
Cold War ideology transformed these once allied powers into bitter rivals. What was initially a temporary division became more and more permanent as the Soviets and Americans during the Joint Commission proceedings failed to agree on the terms for accomplishing the goal of establishing a sovereign and independent Korean government.
Until an agreement was reached, the Soviets continued to set up a Communist nation in the northern half, while Americans modeled the southern part after Western democracy.
The institution of these political systems under the sponsorship of these two foreign powers turned this Asian nation into a battleground between the Soviets and the Americans. Feel the river rise against the levee of your soul. Permission granted by artist. The line that was drawn at the 38th parallel in became the DMZ demilitarized zone in , signaling a ceasefire between U. As the U. Although Korean American artist Yong Soon Min is not an adoptee, the division of Korea is also a defining moment in her life.
It part 4 in a six-part series powerfully captures the ways in which the Korean War continues, waging still in the minds and bodies of Koreans and Korean Americans. For geopolitical and ideological reasons, the U. A country slightly larger than the state of Minnesota, Korea is a mountainous peninsula with seemingly few resources to offer the United States. However, its location—its close proximity to the Soviet Union—made Korea extremely important to the U. It is a testing ground for the effectiveness of the American concept of democracy as compared to Soviet ideology.
According to ICK, the U. Failure fully to live up to our Korean responsibilities would result in immediate damage to our position in dependent areas and those regions immediately subject to Soviet pressure, a development which would seriously affect our interests throughout the world.
Hodge so vividly wrote in a memo, left the Korean people to suffer physically. Therefore, the industrial economy became militarized as the War Department funded and oversaw the relief efforts to rejuvenate the Korean economy. Textiles cost 15 times as much, and building materials were up 30 times as much. After less than a month in Korea, the USAMG inaugurated a new rice policy in October that established a free market on rice, abolishing the former Japanese food control system that prohibited private ownership over rice.
According to Korean-U. It is for this reason that Jinwung Kim claims that one of the greatest failures of the American military occupation was its rice policy. In December of , the Soviet Union and the U. This announcement sparked immediate anger and rioting among the southern Koreans because their plan for trusteeship resembled the protectorate relationship that the Japanese set up in Political conflict was fueled further by the fact that the U.
By , many Korean civilians were distrustful and fed up with the American government and its promises for Korean self-government. Savage informed the President of the mistreatment suffered by the Korean people. The mistreatment, torture, and killing of civilians by the MPs—under the direction of the American military—all led to an atmosphere of fear and mistrust towards the American government.
Congress knew it had to do something to quell the situation and regain the support of South Koreans. So they increased their economic aid program as a way to solve political problems through economics. The men of the U. And yet, recently, Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor, Commander of the Eighth Army, in a broadcast over the Armed Forces radio network, asked the men in his command to give all possible assistance to help Korea to rebuild and rehabilitate. These stories of generosity and goodwill worked to regain their faith and trust in the U.
Not only did these stories try to construct the U. Thus, through these stories, the U. Although the United States established an economic assistance program after occupying the southern half of Korea in ,32 it was primarily done in the spirit of providing war relief after the devastation caused from fighting the Japanese in WWII.
The first was to withdraw completely from Korea, including the troops and all financial and political assistance. The second was to maintain the military occupation, as is. Capitalist economy despite the botched rice policy becomes the means to establish democracy. There have already been riots and loss of life. Indeed, and were the years in which the U. Although these stipulations were cited as safeguards to prevent funds from being mishandled, the terms of the agreement worked to secure American influence in Korean political and economic affairs. The five years leading up to the Korean War were significant for a variety of reasons.
It is within this period that American humanitarianism empire began to percolate. Furthermore, the implementation of the economic assistance programs created a modus operandi that would be utilized after the Korean War: political and social problems would be solved with money and rehabilitation efforts of the U. This style of solving problems worked to secure a relationship of dependency between the U. Unlike the economic assistance programs, however, the activities of the AFAK and KCAC were framed as humanitarian projects, which ultimately wedded militarization with humanitarianism.
These orphans were primarily the products of Japanese colonization. By , at the beginning of the Korean War, 7, orphans lived in Korean orphanages. Three years of combat, grenade throwing, and napalm and bomb dropping destroyed entire cities and villages and killed over 1 million civilians. The destruction left in its path 2 million refugees, , widows, and 15, amputees.
However, by —just one year after the war ended—there were over registered orphanages in Korea housing 50, children. The simple logic of supply and demand is one possible answer i. There are other factors at work. During this year period, various methods were created to take care of displaced children during times of war, famine, and social unrest. These methods included: a kinship care children taken in by relatives ; b foster care; c domestic adoption; and d taking in the child as a slave or servant. Both the Catholic and Protestant missionaries and their non-profit sector activities in social care exerted a significant influence on the formation and maintenance of systems that, to this date, form the response to the care of displaced children.
Because this form of child welfare was already established, it seemed fitting that the crisis concerning orphans at the conclusion of the Korean War would be solved through the building of more orphanages. In this way, the westernization and modernization of Korean child welfare laid the groundwork for Korean adoption. First of all, the Korean government had no infrastructure in place to handle a crisis of this magnitude after the devastation of the war. This assistance is in the form of construction or reconstruction of community-type projects by units of the armed forces stationed in Korea, utilizing immediately available U.
In alone, AFAK built orphanages to house the thousands of orphans left behind. In fact, not only did the military help build orphanages, but almost every U. By the s, more than Korean orphanages were built and repaired by American servicemen. Missionaries and military men, according to General Roy Parker, the U.
Chief of Chaplains, are not incongruous. One way they accomplished these things was by providing food, milk, clothing, blankets, and building materials to orphanages. Participating in these efforts to rebuild the country by taking care of the children displaced by war became a crucial way for the U. In an effort to communicate these intentions with the rest of world, the U. Department of Defense engaged in marketing strategies. Figure 4: Still Image. An American sailor helps an orphan put on a donated sweater. Through these performances of humanitarianism and charitable kindness, the myth of American exceptionalism could be kept intact.
It must be noted, however, that military occupation provided the occasion for this show of humanitarianism. Dominance provided the occasion for benevolence. Without dominance, acts of charity and other forms of benevolence would not be necessary. Ultimately, the settlement of western missionaries during the late 19th century, the formation of neocolonial relations between the U.
The building of orphanages and the taking care of orphans also became the remedy to the image problem of the U. This humanitarian mission—which was made possible by U. To be sure, the adoption of Korean orphans by foreigners, as a form of child welfare, was virtually nonexistent in Korea prior to U. Indeed, while it is commonly believed that Harry Holt started Korean adoption with the adoption of eight mixed-race war orphans, the first people to actually adopt Korean War orphans were military men.
I end this chapter by explicating the ways in which this subject is informed by the militarized atmosphere of orphanages. I attend to the racialized, gendered, sexualized, and imperial structures of American militarization in order to investigate the ways in which the figure of the militarized war orphan comes to symbolize neocolonial relations between the U. In addition, throughout this section, I attend to the strategies of resistance that war orphans utilized to critique U. Identifying these instances of resistance is important because it not only disrupts the image of orphaned children as passive victims, but it also reveals how the project of American humanitarianism empire is never complete.
No matter how much the U. In addition, as I cited earlier, many of the orphanages were supported by military units themselves. Reconfiguring the postwar orphan as a militarized subject is significant because it recuperates the history of U. Watching the AFAK film reels the majority of which are silent , one witnesses the highly involved nature of the military in the lives of orphans. At every stage, the military is present: from the initial identification of the orphanage site, to the drawing of the blueprints, to the groundbreaking, to the actual construction and dedication of the orphanage.
And because most of the Korean orphanages were under the auspices of the U. Department of Defense, the orphans themselves became militarized. And these gender norms resembled American gender norms, since U. In the case of male orphans, the militarization process constructed them into child soldiers. In one scene, orphan boys dressed in fatigues—surplus uniforms donated by the U.
Organized into rows, Mrs. Rhee disperses the toys. What she hands them are toy rifles. Korean First Lady Rhee hands out toy rifles to the male orphans. The two girls squatting on the ground play with a blond doll that crawls and a sewing machine. Indeed, in other film reels, male orphans dressed in fatigues march and move into military formation. Their attire, their stance, and their weapons all suggest the military world. Under the tenure of U. While orphan boys are given toy rifles to play with, orphan girls are handed much less violent items.
In the over 60 films I viewed, I never saw a female orphan shooting or playing with a toy gun. Instead, they were given dolls and other feminine toys. As Mrs. Rhee hands out the toy rifles to the boys, we see two girls on the ground playing with a baby doll that crawls and a toy sewing machine. In playing with these toys, children play out their expected gender roles.
Even the positioning of their bodies, along with their attire, reinforces their specific gender roles. The male orphans act as protectors of females as they stand at attention with rifles in hand, while the young girls in sweater sets and skirts play on the ground with their new toys. He inspects it closely as the chaplain shows him how to pull the trigger. His hands are so tiny that it takes four fingers to grasp the trigger. Figure 7: Still Image.
A GI teaches a young boy how to pull the trigger on this toy gun. Later, we see the older boys shooting at pretend targets in the air. What is ironic about these scenes is that through the act of imitation, these orphaned boys—as young as two or three years of age—are mimicking the very activities that caused them to become orphaned in the first place.
The violence that U. Young boys play with donated toy rifles. Although these children are playing with toy rifles and assembled in pseudo-military formation, it becomes troubling to see these soldiers passing on to them the very behavior that led to their status as orphans. Military violence finds its way into the camera lens in the most unlikely places.
During a Christmas party, a small boy forms his hand into the shape of a gun, points to the camera, and shoots. But his actions could also be read as a form of critique. In this scene, we are given a rare glimpse into the verbal interaction that took place between American soldiers and Korean orphans. Number 1, huh? Of all the English phrases they could have learned, it is this one that emerges from the lips of these Korean children. Or rather, to be more precise, it is this phrase that is repeated by the soldier.
Furthermore, it is this very domination that created the conditions for this show of charity and humanitarianism. But even more than this, this scene reveals that no amount of candy, cookies, parties, and orphanages can erase the violence perpetrated by the state against these children. Thus, this scene illustrates just how inadequate acts of benevolence are when followed by acts of dominance. The bodies of these children prove the limits of benevolence when it has been paved by the road of state violence. From his response, he seems uncomfortable being assigned this status by these children, as it is incongruous for these orphaned children to be hailing U.
But it is also incongruous for a man dressed in military garb to pose as a humanitarian. They remind him that the children can see through his act, that this strategy of covering up state violence via candy and parties is not fooling anybody—especially not these children who have become byproducts of war. And they remind him that masking military power via charitable acts of humanitarianism actually highlights it. The grooming of young boys as soldiers extended beyond the walls of the orphanage as American servicemen adopted some of the boys.
Paladino had watched over him for a year when he was reassigned back to the States. Unwilling to leave the little boy, he decided to adopt him after finding out that Lee had no family. The pictures that accompany the story are quite revealing. He has even adopted the swagger of a military man, as captured in the cover photo that shows him walking with his adoptive father around the Alameda naval base in California. To be more precise, American intervention makes Korean boys into American men. Isaac explains that the U. Indeed, the before-and-after pictures that are included in the article are literally pre- and post-assimilation.
Too Big. You ask that before. Armed Forces. Indeed, we could read this figure as a stand-in for the Korean nation. In the same way that this Korean orphan has been adopted by an American military man, Korea—treated by the U. Reframing U. S-Korea relations in this way also makes the United States the parent of Korea, which works to legitimize U. Consequently, Korean adoption both preserves and maintains American neocolonialism.
And similar to Lee, it is believed that Korea will become more modern, civilized and, simply, more American under the tutelage of the U. The hope is that Korea will be made into the image of the U. And the fantasy is that Korea will strive to imitate and mimic its parent nation with as much ferocity as Lee imitates his adoptive father.
To be a veteran denotes that one has served in the military. So in the cover photo of this issue of Life magazine, there is not just one Korean War veteran represented here: there are two.
Search Results for Democracy.
Reading the orphan as war veteran recuperates the ways in which Korean orphans served in the Korean War in various capacities. It is unknown how many male orphans became unofficial members of the U. But it is certain that Korean orphans—both boys and girls—served as mascots for the Armed Forces.
Some even became full- fledge members of the U. One mascot called Chocoletto worked his way up to become a sergeant in the U. He proved to be invaluable to the regiment by providing intelligence about the enemy. Like the rest of the male orphan population, Jimmy has his head shaved.
Notice how the shaved head signifies the military. On his way there, two American sailors who were drawn to him persuaded the MP to release the boy to them. He spent the day with them on the ship, until they dropped him off at S. Initially considered the mascot of the USS Whitehurst, Jimmy, as crew members called him, quickly became an honorary seaman. He engaged in all the activities that other sailors did; he performed all ship drills and exercises, swept decks and shined shoes, and even became a member of the gunnery department. Jimmy Pon Son See lines up at inspection.
He is also shown bragging to his fellow crewmen about having earned one stripe more than them. And like Chocoletto, Jimmy became very valuable to the navy because he, too, acted as a spy for the U. They could pass, unnoticed, as grimy little rug rats, to be pitied and ignored. The UN considers child soldiers as boys and girls under the age of 18 who either engage in armed combat or serve as spies, informants, couriers, or sex slaves.
Marine Corps, the phenomenon of the child solider is considered a post-Cold War epidemic. The stories about Korean orphans turned mascots turned child soldiers, however, forces us to rethink the phenomenon of child soldiers as a primarily a post-Cold War practice and b a practice that is engaged by everyone else except the U. As a result, the Korean War veteran—refigured in the body of a young Korean boy—revives a history in which the U.
Specifically, I argue here that the code of militarized prostitution creates a gaze and culture that constructs female orphans in the image of the kijichon camptown women i. I offer one way of addressing this gap in scholarship through my analysis of the female Korean orphan. Based on the AFAK film reels, it is evident that orphan girls do most of the entertaining when American military personnel visit the orphanages. Scenes of orphan girls dancing and singing for American troops far outnumber scenes where orphan boys sing and dance.
In most of the performances, the girls dress in hanboks Korean traditional dress while singing and dancing traditional Korean folk songs.
Along with the image of little girls dancing and singing for GIs is the all-too common sight of orphan girls presenting guests and other important military men with a bouquet of flowers. Figure Still Images. In the second image, the young girl offers a bouquet of flowers to a U.
It is unclear how the girls who served as part of the welcoming committee were chosen. Perhaps the most appealing girl of the group was picked. All this is done to attract her intended audience: the very important military man or men in attendance. To be sure, almost always the little girl ends up in the arms of a GI, signaling her success at getting his attention.
Presenting flowers and singing and dancing for white men can be seen as another extension of the kind of services that Korean sex workers provided at this time: giving pleasure and entertaining foreign servicemen. To be sure, Katharine Moon in her groundbreaking book Sex Among Allies explains that kijichon women were viewed by both governments Korean and American as nurturing friendly relations between the two countries by keeping U.
The Eighth U. Figure Photograph. Female Korean orphans dance for sailors aboard the U. Although these children did not provide sexual services like the kijichon women, female orphans worked to lift the morale and spirits of American GIs by performing similar roles as entertainer and hostess. Not only does the female orphan resemble the kijichon woman through her duties as hostess and entertainer but also through her role as an ambassador.
Singing, dancing, and making the soldiers feel special were not only gestures of gratitude but also strategies to keep the donations coming. In this way, the girls were presented as offerings to the soldiers in exchange for their financial support and national security. In contrast to the male orphan as American soldier, the female orphan preserved her Koreanness in the militarization process.
Preserving her ties to Korea was particularly important if she was made in the image of the kijichon woman. As a symbol of the nation, the body of the kijichon woman also represented all that was feminine, mysterious, strange, and dangerous about this virtually unknown county to American GIs.
Her national identity as Korean and her racial identity as Asian must be kept intact in order to preserve the aura of the exotic and erotic. In addition, feminizing Korea through the figure of the kijichon woman worked to subordinate this country under U. In a similar way, race and gender combined to facilitate the Orientalist fantasy of the exotic and subservient female orphan.
This becomes apparent in the stories that were woven around GI encounters with female orphans. This English lesson has a double meaning, though, in that it could also be interpreted as producing the adoptee subject. In this way, Lemoine exposes the ways in which the subject formation of the Korean woman as prostitute and the Korean child as adoptee are both implicated in U.
She reveals the slippage between the Korean female as prostitute and the Korean female as adoptee. Indeed, the setting and plot are same: street meeting leads to a period of infatuation which eventually leads to male abandonment. And the abandonment scene is so dramatic that it is captured on film and shown across the world. For a few days she was the most popular Korean child in the United States. The still image photo below vividly demonstrates how the code of militarized prostitution became encoded on the bodies of postwar female orphans.
Figure Still Image. The girls, in stark contrast to the men holding them, stare solemnly at the camera. Not once do they smile. These girls are wearing special-occasion hanboks and have ribbons tied in their hair. They look like porcelain Oriental dolls, with their painted faces and rosebud lips. Despite the sexual innocence that a doll conveys, their positioning, along with the highly charged political and historical context, eroticizes this doll-like image. The pairing of these exoticized Asian female bodies next to the white militaristic male body conjures up militarized prostitution.
Indeed, these girls, despite their very young age, look like they could be sexual partners to these men. With grimaces on their faces, each white soldier proudly props up his girl, as if on display. The GIs hold them like they are accessories— trophies—and look upon them with desire. The militaristic gaze is a look that is fraught with contradictions. Shrouded in Orientalism and paternalism, it is a gaze mixed with the desire to possess and the desire to save. It is a look that pities the child and, at the same time, wants to conquer the child; to care for the child and also to dominate the child; to be both father and lover.
On the one hand, this gaze objectifies the orphan in order to bolster the identity of the soldier. On the other hand, the militaristic gaze works to assuage military might and imperial power by projecting the soldier as a humanitarian. The orphan—who is constructed as helpless, hungry, and innocent—becomes a conduit through which the masculinity and humanity of the GI is fortified.
Gazing leads to touching. And it—the touching—is almost always done in the spirit of giving. The handing out of sweet treats, the trying on of donated clothes, the distribution of toys, the administering of medicine— these all provide the occasion for the soldier to be close and to touch the child. Charity becomes the stage in with the militaristic gaze is activated. This spatial intimacy—along with the pervasive culture of militarized prostitution—leads to the eroticism of innocence, which is another condition of the militaristic gaze.
What became dangerous, as Kincaid points out, is that we also assigned the same qualities to what is sexually desirable: innocence, purity, sweetness, etc. The militaristic gaze is activated as the GI looks at the young girl with desire during a Christmas Party and as Mr. United States Col. Dean Hess admires an orphan from Hope Inc. Figure Photographs. She is the mascot of K Company. Robert W. Field, who solicited his parents to adopt the young boy.
The pictures above indicate the erotic dimensions of innocence and the militaristic gaze. Although the bodies of the Korean War orphans are prepubescent bodies, Orientalism further infantilizes the Asian body, making the orphan hyper-innocent. Furthermore, because they are the victims of war, the sense of injustice that is enacted upon them is heightened precisely because they are children. The hyper-innocence, along with the heightened sense of injustice, made these children almost irresistible under the gaze of GIs because the fantasy of rescue animates the militaristic gaze.
It is the combination of these two qualities that enables the militaristic gaze to embody both erotic desire and the heroic impulse to save. The militaristic gaze continues to do the same kind of violence, yet it comes across as less harmful and destructive because it is veiled in the desire to save, to care for, and most importantly, to love the orphan. As a technology of American humanitarianism empire and an extension of the physical occupation of the U.
After filming orphaned boys having their blood drawn and getting rectal exams and smears, the next shot is of a little boy running naked into the East Sea, where there are other young boys swimming and playing on an inner tube. It seems puzzling that a video about containing sickness and disease on an island would include long clips of naked boys frolicking in the sea, but that is just what we witness.
Although there are about just as many boys on the beach who are fully clothed based on the background shots , the camera lingers on the bodies of naked young boys and foregrounds them in this one-minute scene. The cameraman zooms in on nude boys sitting and standing on the beach and running into the sea.
Their small, lean bodies are tossed about in the crashing waves of the sea, which heightens the already homoerotic quality of the footage. Furthermore, as groups of young boys play, their bodies become entangled and wrapped around each other as the waves push them together. Under the militaristic gaze, this scopophilic series of shots become eye-candy for the gaping soldier. Their innocent play becomes eroticized for the sheer pleasure of the looking adult male. This one minute footage of naked young male bodies tossed about the waves seems completely out of place in a video about epidemic control; however, as I mentioned earlier, the militaristic gaze appears whenever an orphan shares space with a serviceman.
The camera lens not only captures the image in terms of preserving a moment, but it also literally captures the child, seizing the child within its frame so that the viewer, too, can gaze. Thus, the camera acts as an instrument of the militaristic gaze. Objectified by the eye of the camera and cameraman, the young boys are subordinated to the whims and will of the imperial male gaze. The man behind the camera chooses which orphan s to focus his attention. The camera itself serves as both eye and hand, as it caresses the object held in its frame. And once the cameraman has had his fill, he moves onto the next child that catches his eye.
There is indeed a voyeuristic quality to this footage, as if capturing the children in a private moment. For example, towards the end of this scene, a little boy is caught by surprise when he looks up and sees the camera lens staring straight at him. The young boy attempts to run away from the militaristic gaze of the camera. The camera, however, continues to follow him. Unable to get away, the little boy surrenders and smiles shyly at the camera. The boy surrenders.
I can gaze back, too. At this moment, the cameraman quickly cuts back to a wide shot of the boys swimming in the water, which marks the end of the scene. All the elements of the militaristic gaze come together in this one scene: invasion, captivity, objectification, pre occupation. But what is unexpected in this scene is that the boy challenges the gaze— not only by running away but, more importantly, by gazing back.
The photographer makes no mistake about it: he knows the gaze well; it resembles his own…Thrust in the presence of a veiled woman, the photographer feels photographed; having himself become an object-to-be-seen, he loses initiative: he is dispossessed of his own gaze.
In his attempt to escape the militaristic gaze, he moves the eye of the camera from nude male bodies to fully clothed orphans. Indeed, in this footage, fully dressed boys are of no interest here; the militaristic gaze is only interested in nude boys in this particular scene. And once there, with the support and protection of his mates, the little boy is able to stand up to his intruders: the camera, the cameraman, and the militaristic gaze.
In so doing, he not only protects himself, but he also offers reprieve from the objectifying eye of the camera for the other nude boys who were captured in the same frame with him just moments ago. Anastakis, Dimitry. Michigan Historical Review 27, no. Business History Review 78, no. Anderson, Carol. Diplomatic History 20, no. Journal of the Historical Society 11, no. Anderson, David L. Civil War History 25, no. Diplomatic History 1, no. Low in China". California History 59, no.
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