Curative Violence: Rehabilitating Disability, Gender, and Sexuality in Modern Korea
Introduction: Time and the Presence of Disability
In the nationalist spectacle of cure in South Korea, disabled bodies disappear from the present as the focus is placed on the nondisabled past and the cured future. Time appears folded in this spectacle to deny the present embodiment. The persistent presence of disabilities in the representation of cure invites us to examine how cure, even at an individual level, does not always provide relief or “improve” health and function. To deconstruct the oppositional relationship between disability and cure in the societal drive toward normality, cure is theorized in two ways: (1) as a crossing of times and categories through metamorphosis, and (2) as transaction that involves various effects, including the possibility of harms—caused by what the book labels “curative violence”—as well as what are considered benefits. Premodern conceptions of disability as well as the modern history of Korea are briefly illustrated.