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[Non-CKS] "Where Protestors Sleep": Building Spaces of Care in South Korean Labor Protests

Dept. of Anthropology's Culture, Power, Social Change Colloquium

[Non-CKS] "Where Protestors Sleep": Building Spaces of Care in South Korean Labor Protests

Thursday, April 22, 2021
12:15 PM - 1:45 PM (Pacific Time)

The study of protest typically foregrounds the exceptional and spectacular, calling attention to those rare events that have changed the course of history. This talk engages the ordinary life-spaces where protesters sleep - as well as eat, bathe, rest, strategize, and build relations of mutual care - to interrogate the transformative praxis of protest-making. Drawing on ethnographic research of labor protest sites in South Korea since the mid-2000s, Prof. Chun argues that the challenges of protesting and sleeping in public space have made indispensable questions of collective care and social reproduction. Building spaces of care illuminates the creative and imaginative gendered labor involved in forging what Ruth Wilson Gilmore calls "radical dependency" and the continual making and remaking of solidarity as part of the collective political practice of life and living together.

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Professor Jennifer Chun is a faculty member in the Department of Asian American Studies and the International Institute at UCLA. Her research and writing interests include informal and precarious worker organizing; Asian immigrant women and community organizing; gender, migration, and care work; and global labor movements. She is the author of Organizing at the Margins: The Symbolic Politics of Labor in South Korea and the United States (Cornell University Press, 2009) and in currently co-writing a book monograph on protest cultures in South Korea. 


Sponsor(s): Anthropology, Asian American Studies Center, Asian American Studies Department

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