In Postcolonial Grief: The Afterlives of the Pacific Wars in the Americas
(Duke University Press, 2019), Jinah Kim
explores questions of loss, memory, and redress in post WWII Asian diasporic decolonial politics. Through a close analysis of seminal cultural works that range from theory, short stories, film noir, documentaries, plays, and novels, Kim makes legible how Korean and Japanese diasporic communities have experienced U.S. militarism and Japanese colonialism. The concept of melancholia, defined as an unending state of mourning, along with the notion of “dread forwarding,” in which a new trauma can trigger an older one, inducing both a flashback but also a flash forward, is crucial to her reading. This concise yet rich work addresses the question of collective pain brought on by postcolonial loss and trauma. Kim puts geographical, cultural, and temporal spaces in conversation with one another, illuminating the ways in which Asian diasporic communities have negotiated their colonial histories.
Laura Ha Reizman is a PhD candidate in Asian Languages & Cultures at UCLA