Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Books

Faire du terrain en Corée du Nord. : Écrire autrement les sciences sociales.

Abstract : The result of several years of work and a collective fieldwork that led to the development of the CITY-NKOR project, this book gathers the contributions of nine authors (listed below) who answer, in their own way, and by shaking up the rules of the academic genre, the question: how to do fieldwork in North Korea? In the landscape of French and international publishing, both academic and for a wider public, this country is known mainly through the eternal return of the nuclear crisis and the cyclical dynamics of inter-Korean relations. But beyond these works of a rather geopolitical nature, relayed by very repetitive media discourses on the “Jurassic Park of Communism”, a few scholars in Korean Studies, and passionate about Korea, have been striving, for more than ten years, to develop a direct contact with North Korea and their North Korean colleagues. What scientific research can be conducted in the closed context of a totalitarian country where ethnographic investigation is impossible? What do we bring back from our travels and what do we say about North Korea? While providing little-known material on North Korea (glossaries of contemporary social realities, collections of local karaoke songs, Pyongyang city planning institutions), this book, based on several fieldwork missions in Pyongyang since the mid-2000s, also critically addresses not only the question of fieldwork in North Korea, but the methodology of fieldwork in general. Approaching it with humor or through the absurd (imagining that researchers on the field are themselves "thomassons", those urban objects that have lost their meaning and context in contemporary cities) constitutes a true critical reflection on this methodology often fetishized in the social sciences. The book also questions the validity of the ordinary academic production, a scientific article or book, a paper delivered in a conference, or even a journal article for the wider audience. In this book, we share our deep thinking about the epistemology of fieldwork, along with our field notes, but also our obsessions and our emotions. Why translate a laundry form in a hotel or the whole revolutionary lyrics of a Moranbong concert, make endless lists of words and fight over transcription choices? Does the North Korean terrain make us sad, angry or fearful in a specific way? Beyond the fieldwork manifesto this book may offer, we think possible to deliver knowledge about North Korea and critical thinking in our fields, in an offbeat, sometimes provocative way with absurd texts, poetry, a quiz, excerpts from our field diaries and the bizarre emails exchanged while preparing the trip. Finally, as we shook up up the canons of academic writing to open space for more literary creativity, we specifically worked the use of illustrations. Instead of publishing our photos of Pyongyang and add up to existing collections online, we had them painted by the North Korean artist exiled in the South, Sun Mu, who also accepted to illustrate the storyboards of some fieldwork moments. This book may find its readership both in the circle of Korean studies and the many human and social sciences of the "field" as well as in the vast community of readers curious about Asia, impatient to finally read something new and different about North Korea. Texts by: Yannick Bruneton (Université de Paris), Evelyne Chérel-Riquier (La Rochelle Université), Koen De Ceuster (Leyden University) Alain Delissen (EHESS), Henri Desbois (Nanterre Université), Françoise Ged (Cité de l’architecture & du patrimoine), Valérie Gelézeau (EHESS), Benjamin Joinau (Hongik University), Pauline Guinard (ENS).
Complete list of metadata

https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03468590
Contributor : Valérie Gelézeau Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 11:17:27 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 7, 2022 - 1:58:21 PM

Identifiers

  • HAL Id : halshs-03468590, version 1

Citation

Valérie Gelézeau, Benjamin Joinau. Faire du terrain en Corée du Nord. : Écrire autrement les sciences sociales.. Atelier des Cahiers, 2021, Collection Essais, 979-10-91555-51-7. ⟨halshs-03468590⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

50