In the postcolonial (post-1948) period in South Korea, South Cholla and North Cholla provinces, which collectively constitute the Honam region (hereafter simply referred to as Cholla), have come to occupy a marginal place in the political economy of Korean development and a peripheral, even counter-hegemonic, place in national politics. In addition, the region has long suffered the stigma of social discrimination and the humiliation of cultural and ideological subordination within the Korean nation-state. This article explores the imagined map of Cholla as it has been constituted structurally and textually, both historically and more recently. I argue that the historical and contemporary processes of marginalization have collectively supplied both the catalyst and reference point for popular struggle in the region. Since Cholla occupies a central place in Korean popular literature, the main part of the essay considers the ways Cholla figures in populist texts. This literary reconstitution of the region, I suggest, in turn contributes to its reproduction as a radical region.


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pp. 69-93
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