Call for Abstracts: Blood in Modern Korea and Its Diasporas

Sandra Park's picture
Call for Papers
December 15, 2021
United States
Subject Fields: 
Korean History / Studies, Race / Ethnic Studies, Asian History / Studies, Humanities, Immigration & Migration History / Studies

Call for Abstracts


Workshop: Blood in Modern Korea and its Diasporas

When: April 2022 

Where: Colby College 

“Blood” created new modes of governance and subjectivities throughout modern Korean history, yet remains an elusive critical concept largely neglected in Korean studies. The modern Korean commitment to a blood-based nation has manifested in a diverse array of expressions, from references to a singular Korean bloodline on the one hand and description of multiracial persons as “mixed bloods” on the other, to the pursuit of medical eugenics and development of political theologies centered on sacral blood, among others. Despite this ubiquity, blood as an epistemological concept  has yet to be directly interrogated. This workshop is organized around making explicit the histories and constructs implicit in the Korean concept of blood. It expands on a discussion held at AAS 2021, where the organizers placed into trans-disciplinary and trans-Pacific dialogue the history of science, history of religion, and critical mixed race studies to extrapolate the multiple meanings collapsed in “blood” and interrogate the relationship between blood and nation in Cold War Korea. We propose approaching blood in both implicit and explicit ways to articulate new analytical frameworks for understanding how blood, in both its literal and metaphorical meanings, was appropriated, transformed, and exploited to govern the discursive terms and material conditions of modern Korean national and diasporic identities. 

We invite proposals on any time period in modern Korea—including late Chosŏn, contemporary North and South Korea—and across Korean diasporas in any part of the world, as well as methodologies from any discipline in the humanities and social sciences. We particularly welcome work from junior scholars (graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and junior faculty) as well as those working on related issues in media outside conventional scholarly rubrics (creative writing, arts, etc.). 

Papers are encouraged to address one or more of the following themes or questions:

Blood and … 

  • Nationalism
  • Identity 
  • Kinship
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • Science/Medicine
  • Technology
  • Religion/Secularism
  • Ideology
  • Law
  • Gender/Sexuality
  • War/Militarization
  • Revolution
  • Labor
  • Colonialism/Imperialism



Please email your abstract (350 words or less) and a CV to: by December 15, 2021.

NOTICE: The workshop will be held in person at Colby College, Maine. However, we will be monitoring the ongoing pandemic and pivot to a hybrid or virtual format if necessary. If individual participants have health considerations, organizers are open to accommodating participation in the safest and most comfortable form. As funding allows, selected participants will receive partial or full reimbursements for travel and lodging. Details on date and finalized format will be enclosed in our notifications in January. 

Following the workshop in April 2022, select papers will be considered for inclusion in a planned edited volume. We have provisional interest from a publisher and expect to submit a book proposal no later than June of 2022. 



Laura Ha Reizman 

Johns Hopkins University 


Sandra H. Park

University of Chicago


Inga Kim Diederich

Colby College



Contact Info: 

Dr. Inga Kim Diederich, Dr. Laura Ha Reizman, and Sandra H. Park