Fall Speaker Series 11/5/2015

Managing Decolonization: The U.S. Occupation of Korea and the Making of a Global Empire

A talk by Dr. Kornel Chang, Associate Professor of History and American Studies at Rutgers University-Newark and author of Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands

Thursday, November 5, 3:30pm
255 Old Horticulture Building

Searching for a way to end its deeply unpopular Occupation in Korea, the United States improvised a face-saving withdrawal strategy in 1947. Drawing from an imperial repertoire, Americans sponsored elections in Korea to secure international support for a separate regime in the South, resulting in a formally independent South Korea led by rightist Korean allies in August 1948. Dr. Chang’s presentation examines U.S. democratization efforts, discussing how they were deployed as both an exit strategy and a technique of decolonization management. The endgame in Korea reveals the strategies by which the United States made decolonization compatible with empire-building and how it ascended to global power during an age of decolonization.

Dr. Chang will also offer a special graduate workshop, open to all, Friday, November 6, from 10:30am-12:00pm. Graduate students are asked to read and be prepared to discuss and offer comments on a draft of a manuscript. Participants are asked to pre-register for this special seminar by contacting Elyse Hansen, hanse119@msu.edu who will forward the reading.

The History Department Fall Speaker Series is sponsored in part by the Asian Studies Center, the African Studies Center, the Center for Gender in Global Context at MSU, and The Jack and Margaret Sweet Endowed Professorship in History.