Exploring Colonial Modernity through the Dynamics of Multilayered Time and Space

In general, colonial modernity theory considers modernity to be something that was formed after the “Western impact.” Therefore, it has a strong tendency to conceive of the modern and the premodern (chŏnkŭndae) as a rupture. Thus, it is unable to understand the “premodern experience” in connection with the historical processes that unfolded after the modern period. Furthermore, colonial modernity theory underscores the image of modernity or the nation-state as a powerful predator that subsumes and claims everything premodern into its territory. Even in its criticism of modernity, then, it falls into a kind of modern-centrism that, although unintentional, privileges modernity’s power over the premodern (Miyazima and Bae 2015). I believe that, more than anything else, in order for colonial modernity theory to mature, it must overcome these limitations. From this perspective, the book by Ryuta Itagaki reviewed here holds great significance for the current paradigm of Korean modern historical studies...

 

Exploring Colonial Modernity through the Dynamics of Multilayered Time and Space

Itagaki Ryūta 板垣竜太. Hanguk kŭndae ŭi yŏksa minjokji: Kyŏngbuk sangju ŭi singminji kyŏnghŏm 한국 근대의 역사민족지: 경북 상주의 식민지 경험 [A historical ethnography of Korean modernity: Colonial experience in Sangju, Kyŏngbuk Province]. Translated by Hong Jong-Wook and Yi Taehwa. Seoul: Hyean, 2015. ISBN: 9788984945234.

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