Curative Violence: How to Inhabit the Time Machine with Disability

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 20174:00PM - 6:00PM208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place
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This presentation explores “folded time” in which the present disappears through the imperative of cure in South Korea. By folding time, cure demands temporal crossings to a past through “rehabilitation” and “recovery” and to a future without disabilities and illnesses. By thinking about the imperative of cure as a time machine, Kim explores the possibility of inhabiting in the present with disability and illness. Cure appears as an attempt at category-crossing from otherness to normality, which reveals the multiplicity of the boundaries that divide “human” and “inhuman” as well as “life” and “nonlife.” Kim also discusses the temporal trap into which discussions of non-Western societies in Western academic contexts might fall, one that denies coevalness or universalizes disability experiences across different cultural and historical contexts. In this analysis, cure is reframed, not as unequivocally beneficial nor politically harmful, but as a set of political, moral, economic, emotional, and ambivalent negotiations.

Eunjung Kim is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and Disability Studies Program at Syracuse University. Her research and teaching involve transnational feminist disability studies, visual cultures, Korean cultural history of disability and activism, humanitarian communications, asexuality theories, and queer inhumanism.


Rachel Ostep


Eunjung Kim
Assistant Professor, Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and Disability Studies Program, Syracuse University

Jesook Song
Acting Director, Centre for the Study of Korea; Professor, Department of Anthropology


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