Suzy Kim

Senior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
October 2019 - February 2020
Rutgers University
Project Title: 
Women Behind the Iron Curtain: A Cultural History of North Korea during the Cold War
Project Abstract: 

This study examines the important role of women in the development of North Korea during the Cold War. Cold War historiography often depicts the conflict and those on the other side of the Iron Curtain as hyper-masculine with despotic male leaders bent on securing military power. However, drawing upon a rich archive of cultural history, Women Behind the Iron Curtain reveals the significance of women in the affective dimensions of power, paradoxically more so in militarized societies like North Korea. Defying predictions of its imminent collapse, North Korea has endured precisely through women’s labor, both in their lived realities and iconic representations, which proffered the selfless mother as the ideal model for both women and men, with lasting consequences for our time.