Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationJohns Hopkins U.
Grant numberGr. 9917
Approve DateOctober 24, 2019
Project TitleMyung, Sumin (Johns Hopkins U.) "Crafting Forests, Claiming Futures: A Politics of Scientific Reforestation in South Korea"
SUMIN MYUNG, then a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, was awarded a grant in October 2019 to aid research on “Crafting Forests, Claiming Futures: A Politics of Scientific Reforestation in South Korea,” supervised by Dr. Naveeda Khan. The dissertation project, retitled ‘Crafting Forests, Claiming Futures: Forest Sciences and the Politics of Anthropogenic Forests in South Korea,’ explores the political, ecological, and scientific stakes of forest regeneration in South Korea facing ecological violence, exacerbated by the legacies of Japanese imperialism, the unended Korean War, and rapid industrialization. Drawing on 34-months of archival research and ethnographic fieldwork in South Korea, the project asks how forest scientists’ quotidian practices, tools, and infrastructures of knowledge production have engaged with the residues of imperialism and war while re-claiming habitable futures for the national public and global audiences through climate-sensitive forestry projects. Recent scholars of the Anthropocene have tended to examine various drivers of ecological crises at the planetary level, focusing on how humans have induced such troubles that will persist indefinitely on future Earth. This project shifts the focus by foregrounding how habitable futures have been conceived, claimed, and materialized through forest-making projects in a postcolonial world. In this way, the dissertation sheds critical light on the varying vectors and meanings of the ‘anthropogenic’ in the making of ecological futures beyond Euro-American contexts.