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“A beacon of hope for the people of Afghanistan”: Racialized Political Elites and Memorialization of War

November 26, 2020 at 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Location:Online via Zoom
Audience:Carleton Community, Current Students, Staff and Faculty
Contact Email:soc-anthro@carleton.ca

As part of her research on race and the politics of incorporation, this presentation of work-in-progress explores travelling narratives of Canadian military intervention. Dr. Laura Kwak is interested in the subjectivities produced and military interventions authorized through memorialization practices. Specifically, she examines the timely memorialization of the Korean war under the Harper government (2006-2015) and narratives circulated by Asian Canadian Conservative political elites about rescue from communism/terrorism, indebtedness to the Canadian military, and the construction of Korean people in and across various diasporas as “a beacon of hope for the people of Afghanistan”. This examination is part of a larger research project that is concerned with evolving forms of racial governmentality and questions about racial justice in a world where post-racial discourses persist alongside explicit racial violence for instance in the form of orientalist militarism.

Dr. Laura J. Kwak is Assistant Professor in the Law and Society Program at York University. Her research has been published in the Oñati Socio-Legal Series, Ethnic and Racial Studies, the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, and Amerasia Journal. She is developing her first monograph “Playing by the Racial Rule(s): Asian Conservatives in Canada’s Federal Legislature,” which challenges the supposed incommensurability of racialized identity and Conservative politics. Her SSHRC Insight Development Grant (2020-2022) funded research project “Race and Representation in Canada’s Parliament, 2006-2019” will examine the contributions of racialized MPs across Canada’s three main federal political parties.

Please contact soc-anthro@carleton.ca for the Zoom link.

This lecture is part of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Colloquium Series.