Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

'An Island of Death': Crumpled Childhood, Performance, and the Jeju Massacre (1948)

Hwang, Shea (2022) 'An Island of Death': Crumpled Childhood, Performance, and the Jeju Massacre (1948). Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 11 October 2024.

Download (1MB) | Request a Copy


My dissertation argues that the Jeju Massacre prompted the creation of a scenario in which children are central to its formation and performance. I use the idea of “crumpled childhood” to describe the scenario and its relationship to childhood, which configures the past, present, and future in performances of childhood. This scenario’s plot highlights children who were not protected by the state during the 4.3 events and their victimhood; gestures and actions by families to protect the children or acts like hiding done by the children themselves; the generation of the Korean sentiment Han; the disruption of a linear progression of life and the formation of chaotic temporalities through the massacre and survivors’ childhood experience. By focusing on humans’ physical, perceptual, and imaginary engagements with non-humans, the scenario of the Jeju Massacre works against the Korean government’s official history that defined the incident as a communists’ uprising that challenged the nation’s legitimacy.
Crumpled childhood as a scenario generates and circulates memories and knowledge of the 4.3 Incident through literary, visual, cinematic, and material practices. As a space of process and becoming, Jeju Peace Park enacts memories of the massacre through ungrievable deaths, an act of holding, and children with an invisible face. In Hyun Ki-Young’s writing, the scenario of crumpled childhood is performed through non-humans, including 4.3 spirits and crows, nature-friendly children, an act of crying, and a Korean shamanistic Kut. Hyun Kil-Un’s literary texts stress that variations of the scenario are embodied through “children of rioters” or “mischievous” children and the motif of an absent father as well as through an act of imitating or a spirit possession. As a practice of witnessing, the survivors’ drawings manifest a motif of an injured mother and her child, hidden child figures, their acts of hiding and fleeing, and longing. In Jane Jin Kaisen’s films, Reiterations of Dissent (2011/16) and Community of Parting (2019), the scenario’s performance is revealed through a motif of dead children, the figure of a ghostly child, a ritual landscape, and an act of wandering.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hwang, Sheayuh90@pitt.eduyuh90
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGranshaw, Michellemkg31@pitt.edumkg31
Committee MemberGeorge, Kathygeorgeke@pitt.edugeorgeke
Committee MemberMcKelvey, Patrickptm17@pitt.eduptm17
Committee MemberKim,
Date: 11 October 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 22 July 2022
Approval Date: 11 October 2022
Submission Date: 2 August 2022
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 233
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Theater Arts
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Jeju Massacre, childhood, performance
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2022 20:28
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2022 20:28


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item