This article considers the proliferation of Korean native camp shows and the roles of Korean women entertainers at the military service clubs of the Eighth United States Army in Korea in the 1950s and the 1960s. The role of the “American sweethearts” in USO camp shows—to create a “home away from home” and boost the morale of the American troops during wartime—was carried out by female Korean entertainers in the occupied zone at a critical moment in US-ROK relations during the Cold War. The article argues that Korean entertainers at military clubs were meant to perform the entertainment of “home” and evoke nostalgia for American soldiers by imitating well-known American singers and songs. However, what they performed as America was not simply the reproduction of American entertainment but often a manifestation of their imagination; they were constructing their own version of the American home. Their hybrid styles of American performance were indicative of how the discourse of the American home itself was constructed around ambivalence, the very site where women entertainers were enabled to exceed the rigid boundaries of race and gender, transcend their roles as imitators, and exercise their agency by productively negotiating this ambivalence.

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