One of the largest political protests in contemporary Korean history, the May 1980 Kwangju Uprising still exerts a profound, often contested, influence in Korean society. Through a deft combination of personal reflections and academic analysis, Contentious Kwangju offers a comprehensive examination of the multiple, shifting meanings of this seminal event and explains how the memory of Kwangju has affected Korean life from politics to culture. In keeping with the book's title, the essays offer competing interpretations of the Kwangju Uprising, yet together provide the most thorough English-language treatment to date of the multifaceted, sweeping significance of this seminal event.
Gi-Wook Shin is associate professor of sociology and senior fellow at the Institute for International Studies, Stanford University. Kyung Moon Hwang is assistant professor of history, University of Southern California.
Introduction Gi-Wook Shin Part I: Origins and Development Chapter 1: The Formation of an "Absolute Community" Jung-woon Choi Chapter 2: Simin'gun: The Citizens' Army during the Kwangju Uprising Jong-chul Ahn Chapter 3: An American Missionary's View Jean W. Underwood Chapter 4: Has Kwangju Been Realized? Keun-sik Jung Part II: Legacy and Representation Chapter 5: From Heroic Victims to Disabled Survivors: The 5-18 Injured after Twenty Years Linda S. Lewis and Ju-na Byun Chapter 6: The Kwangju Uprising as a Vehicle of Democratization: A Comparative Perspective Jung-kwan Cho Chapter 7: Victims and Heroes: Competing Visions of May 18 Don Baker Chapter 8: Reinventing the Region: The Cultural Politics of Place in Kwangju City and South Cholla Province Sallie Yea Afterword: Kwangju: The Historical Watershed Kyung Moon Hwang