Unfaithful Returns: Reiterations of Dissent, U.S.–Korean Militarized Debt, and the Architecture of Violent Freedom
Abstract

ABSTRACT:

This essay explores the unsettling material and affective ties associated with militarized debt within the post-1945 Korean diaspora. By mobilizing Jane Jin Kaisen’s video installation Reiterations of Dissent as a device of critical sensing or “sightless vision,” I address three central questions. First, how exactly does Reiterations of Dissent hint at seemingly forgotten or hidden memories of war and occupation eclipsed by state-produced narratives? That is, what formal mechanisms are mobilized by Kaisen to gesture to the spectral dynamics occluded from the field of vision? Second, what are the dimensions of militarization, and what subsequently emerges as “permission costs” or obligatory sacrifices deemed necessary for a flourishing U.S.–South Korean militarized friendship? Last, how might the framework of militarized debt shift Asian/American studies more expansively toward Asia and the Pacific, especially as the field of Korean/American studies labors toward a decolonized future?