Foundations for the modern: Historic sites and cityscape in Seoul, South Korea
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Based on ethnographic field work in the summer of 2014, this research hopes to create an approach to cityscape that allows for a nuanced understanding of a world that creates, and is created by, its inhabitants. Seoul, South Korea, with its over 600 year long history, has grown into one of the largest metropolis areas in the world. Though the impacts of imperialization, war, and modernization have all left lasting impressions on the cityscape, the city's past remains deeply engrained and the landmarks and memorials have, just as much as any other factor, shaped the Seoul of today. This research is an attempt to understand the significance of these historic sites not only in their roles as markers of the past but as parts of an active and ongoing process in the lives of Seoul's citizens. By taking the experience of the cityscape as a point in a continuum of time and space, these historic sites gain influence in their surroundings as they are considered for their past as well as their role in the future. Further, processes of making historic sites museal or, as I forward here, toural, create a cityscape that is known by people who dwell within it. The establishment of a cityscape that is understood and transverses temporal and spatial boundaries, I argue, is then infused with emotion and sentiment, namely in feelings pride and shame.
Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of Anthropology