Public lecture: Jie-Hyun Lim (Sogang University)

Global Easts as a Problem Space

with Jie-Hyun Lim (Sogang University)

Date: 29 June 2023
Time: 16.00-18.00
Venue: PC Hoofthuis, Spuistraat 134 Amsterdam – Room 1.05
Registration not required

“Global Easts” is a problem space where the East remains underdeveloped compared to the developed “West” in the trajectory of global modernity. This co-figuring of the underdeveloped East and developed West has regulated our historical imagination. Viewed from the Global Easts as a transperipheral problem space, the divide between East and West does not equal the boundary of Asia and Europe. Asia is in Europe, and Europe is in Asia. The idea of Global Easts was serendipity. As a historian and memory scholar wandering in the global space between Seoul and Warsaw, I realized East and West are fluid categories depending on their relational positions. The geographical categorization of Polish studies in Germany, labeled Ostforschung (Eastern Studies), is “East,” while German studies in Poland, called Studia Zachodnie (Western Studies), is “West.” Germany as the East vis-à-vis France as the West became the West vis-à-vis Poland as the Ost. Likewise, Japan was positioned as East of England, France, and the USA. Vis-à-vis Korea, China, and even Poland, Japan’s imagined geography shifts to the West. In this global chain of historical imagination, East and West imply a sequential evolution order in a linear developmental scheme. Instead of Spivak’s strategic essentialism about an oppressed group intentionally taking on stereotypes about itself to disrupt the dominance in the realm of activity, I will try to heuristically juxtapose East Asia and Eastern Europe in the global history and memory of modernity. ‘Heuristically’ is probably better than ‘scientifically’ in exploring Global Easts beyond the East-West divide.

Jie-Hyun Lim is a South Korean historian, writer and ‘memory activist’. He is Professor of transnational history and Director of the Critical Global Studies Institute at Songang University in Seoul. He is the author, most recently, of Global Easts: Remembering, Imagining, Mobilizing (Columbia University Press, 2022) and co-editor of Mnemonic Solidarity – Global Interventions (Palgrave MacMillan 2021).

Meet the author

Date: 29 June 2023
Time: 11.00-13.00
Venue: Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Amsterdam room:  OMHP C3.23
Registration is required, see below.

Prior to the public lecture, there is a possibility to meet the speaker to discuss his recent monograph. Registration is required as there are limited places available for OSL PhDs and RMa Students. Please send an email to with your name, university and with which national research you are registered. You will receive a confirmation.

Participation for students

For students, participation requires reading the introduction (or more chapters) and preparing questions. Students can earn 1 ECTS.

The book that we’ll be discussing is titled Global Easts: Remembering, Imagining, Mobilizing (Columbia UP, 2022)