War and Peace: the Mongolian Empire and the Goryo – Korean Renaissance

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Jihee Han


Giving an overview of the global disruption of peace caused by the Mongol invasions and conquests in the thirteenth century, I’d like to revise the notion of peace first, and then argue that the fragmentation of a peaceful system does not necessarily breed chaos but smaller – scale systems around the world with unfolding symmetry. Taking the “Ryo – Mong War” that lasted for 26 years (1231 – 1257) as an example, I will illustrate how Goryo – Korea came to connect its local reality to a new global reality through the efforts to overcome the national crisis and restore the national peace under the Mongol Empire. Despite the horrors and devastations caused by the war, Goryo – Korean intellectuals could expand their vistas, arguing that the ideal world (Zunghwa) cannot be ruled by force. They adjusted themselves to new normalcy of the global system, run by the Mongol Empire, and produced a great number of ethnographic accounts of who they are as a people and nation – state, trying to revive and surpass ideas and achievements of classical antiquity of China and Korea. In this respect, I will suggest the transnational memories of the Mongol Empire may work as a useful past that provides a reference point for an imaginaire beyond the 20th century Pax American paradigm of peace toward the 21st century Pax Metaverse AI – paradigm of peace.

Published: Nov 14, 2022

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Peace, Global Blues, and National Songs