Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: Challenging the Official Story of Korean Adoption

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pp. 1-20

Consider these two images. Both pictures were taken in South Korea. Figure 1 is a still image from a film produced by the Department of Defense on Christmas Eve in 1953, five months after the Korean War ended in a cease-fire agreement along the thirty-eighth parallel, or the demilitarized zone.1 ...

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1. Militarized Humanitarianism: Rethinking the Emergence of Korean Adoption

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pp. 21-40

Taking the figure of the “GIs and the Orphans” as the entry point for my investigation into the genealogies of Korean adoption, I use this chapter and the next to explore the material conditions of possibility for such a celluloid composition. What factors made possible the presence of displaced Korean children in the arms of American soldiers? ...

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2. Gender and the Militaristic Gaze

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pp. 41-72

The Korean War Children’s Memorial (2003), which sounds like a site honoring the displaced children of the Korean War, is actually a memorial that valorizes the American armed forces. Founded by Korean War veteran George Drake, the memorial and its accompanying website were created in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Korean War ...

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3. Marketing the Social Orphan

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pp. 73-100

If the first two chapters explored the material conditions of “GIs and the Orphans,” then these next two chapters investigate the conditions that made possible the image that has become the dominant face of Korean adoption: the “Holt Family Portrait.” For this particular chapter, I focus on the following questions: ...

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4. Normalizing the Adopted Child

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pp. 101-126

So far, I have identified the material conditions that have made possible the emergence of the Korean orphan. I examined the construction of the Korean orphan in the militarized scene of the orphanage, in the fantasies of the U.S. military, and in the humanitarian desires of American civilians. ...

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5. “I Wanted My Head to Be Removed”: The Limits of Normativity

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pp. 127-154

In her award-winning and celebrated memoir The Language of Blood (2003), Korean adoptee writer Jane Jeong Trenka theorizes Korean adoptee identity by way of a recipe. She writes: ...

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Epilogue: Tracing Other Genealogies of Korean Adoption

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pp. 155-162

As a genealogical investigation of Korean adoption, this project has offered multiple beginnings, entry points, and divergences concerning the discourses that have shaped Korean adoption.1 In an attempt to unsettle the dominant narrative of Korean adoption as a natural consequence of the Korean War and as an institution of normalization and successful assimilation, ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 163-166

When I was struggling to find a research topic during graduate school, I remember a professor telling me, “Write the book that you always wished you could have read in college.” I started to reflect back to my undergraduate years, thinking about the holes and gaps in my own secondary education. ...

Notes

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pp. 167-200

Index

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pp. 201-210

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About the Author

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Soo Jin Pate is visiting assistant professor in American studies at Macalester College.