Nationalist Technologies of Cultural Memory and the Korean War: Militarism and Neo-Liberalism in "The Price of Freedom" and the War Memorial of Korea

Daniel Y. Kim, Brown University
Canteen containing water from the Yalu River, War Memorial of Korea. Photo taken by the author.
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Abstract: 


This article examines the technologies of nationalism that shape how the Korean War is depicted in two museum and memorial sites: The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, a permanent exhibit at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and the War Memorial of Korea in Seoul. It shows how the use of traditional historical artifacts in The Price of Freedom and cinematic and digital technologies in the War Memorial generate structures of cultural memory that celebrate both a nationalist militarism and the ethos of neoliberalism.

Keywords: Korean War, cultural memory, memorials, museums, nationalism, neoliberalism, militarism