Postcolonial Discourses and Teaching National History. The History Educators’ Attempts to Overcome Colonialism in the Republic of Korea

The discourses of colonialism and postcolonialism have provoked debates on the teaching of history in South Korea. In this chapter, Sun Joo Kang explores the influence of these discourses mainly on the teaching of Korean history. First the period after the liberation from Japanese colonial rule is examined, focusing on Korean historians’ efforts to create a new national culture and construct a ‘true’ Korean history during an era of nation building, economic development, and democratization. The second section covers the 1990s to the 2010s and addresses the postmodern postcolonialists’ attacks on nation and national history and the dilemma of teaching about colonial rule. The third section discusses future directions in Korean history education in terms of postcolonial consciousness.