The transpacific tempest: Relational sovereignty and spiritual sociogenesis

Jeong Eun Annabel We*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article examines the intersection of The Tempest adaptations and militarization across the Caribbean and Pacific. Through an analysis of the South Korean writer Ch’oe In-Hun’s 1973 novel The Typhoon, it argues that past speculative visions for a decolonial future continue to offer a critical imaginary of decolonization in the Pacific and of reunification of Korea. Building on the works of Sylvia Wynter, Frantz Fanon, and Édouard Glissant, the article theorizes relational sovereignty and spiritual sociogenesis in the context of militarization of islands. It considers the transpacific region alongside the Caribbean through a comparative analysis of The Typhoon and the Martinican thinker Aimé Césaire’s 1969 play Une Tempête. This is an archipelagic perspective that decenters the logic that justifies militarization of the islands for the securitization of the continents. The article analyzes how decolonial knowledge emerges through the affective, spiritual, and environmental transformations and alters the course of military mobilization of the colonized on islands both real and fictional.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-398
Number of pages24
JournalCultural Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Caribbean
  • Korea
  • decolonial
  • indigenous
  • militarization
  • sociogenesis
  • sovereignty
  • transpacific

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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