017- Peace, Global Blues, and National Songs

 

Organized by: Global Humanities Research Group. Prof. Jihee Han

English

 

As historians such as Jürgen Osterhammel, Niels Petersson, and Emily Rosenberg indicate, worldwide interconnection and interdependence, provoked in part, paradoxically, by aggressive wars, has led to consolidation of the notion of ‘the world as an integrated whole.’ Such terms as Pax Romana, Pax Mongolica, Pax Britannica, Pax America, etc., are examples of further concepts grounded in transnational memories of wars and subsequent changes of the world, especially those following imperialist conquests. Interestingly, this process of disruption of order and restoration of peace has elicited similar patterns in imperialist global powers and dependent countries in their representations of historical memories. Like the writers of the Empire, marginalized writers have created new-normal songs that envision an integrated world system as well singing the blues about the disruption of their more local national systems. Now in the 21st century, we, researchers of GHRG, take note that we have entered another historical period of “the unified world system” (Wallerstein)--which may be called Pax Metaverse—driven by the desire of global OTT platform conglomerates to construct a virtual Empire by interconnecting the physical world with the virtual world by hyperlinks. Interestingly, GHRG observes that the previous pattern is being repeated in the current age of Pax Metaverse: both resistance and active adaptation to the new digital normal are occurring nationally and globally in the midst of a variety of digital wars that have been unfolding online, in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, religion, ability, and age. Given this, we propose a session in which all panels will correlate past attempts to produce unified world systems in the context of humanities studies with current developments of the new “unified” world systems, in a Pax Metaverse. The main themes we propose to discuss are (1) “the Unified World System and Global Blues” and (2) “the Restoration of Peace and Local Songs." We expect each panel, based on their expertise, to return to specific historical periods in national literatures and to put into practice Adrienne Rich’s notion of “Re-vision”: “the act of looking back, of seeing with fresh eyes, of entering an old text from a new critical direction.”