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UNIT 2: History and Memory

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VIDEO SEGMENT: Memory and Museums

Memory can be preserved in many ways. This unit explores some methods of remembering, including physical devices, architecture, and museums. It begins with the Luba people of central Congo, who use elaborate carvings, memory boards, and scarification to mark, remember, and retell the past. Until recently, professional historians viewed peoples without written records as "without history" because the historians' perceptions of history were shaped overwhelmingly by their own experiences in a literate culture.

This segment then moves to monuments and museums to explore how they can collect, preserve, and interpret the past. First, it looks at the destruction of South Korea's National Museum on August 15, 1995, during the fiftieth anniversary celebration of Korea's independence from Japan. The museum edifice was built during Japan's colonial rule of Korea with the labor of more than 50,000 Koreans. Although the building had once housed Korea's national treasures, from a Korean point of view it was a monument to the Japanese oppression of the Korean people, and its destruction was presented in Korea as a restoration of Korean national pride.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


Anonymous, COL. PAUL W. TIBBETS, JR., PILOT OF THE ENOLA GAY (1945). Courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration.

Mary Nooter Roberts, LUKASA (1989). Courtesy of Mary Nooter Roberts.


Anonymous, 1492: AN ONGOING VOYAGE (COVER) (1992). Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

Anonymous Korean, NATIONAL MUSEUM OF KOREA (n.d.). Courtesy of Korea National Tourism Organization.



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