Transitional Justice, Cultural Memory, and Post Colonial Consciousness in Post Khmer Rouge Cambodia

Sun Lee : Interdisciplinary Studies Field

Mentor: Professor David Cohen, Rhetoric and Classics

Sun's project examines how cultural memory and postcolonial consciousness have shaped the notion of justice and reconciliation in post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia. While the newly-established Special Court aims to establish international criminal justice 31 years after the tragic events, whether such justice can redress historical wrongs and bring about reconciliation remains questionable. Therefore an inquiry into the Cambodian social and political imagination, ideological development and notions of national identity and culture becomes appropriate. Through interviews, observations and review of historical evidence, Sun will unearth the non-dominant voice and seek to understand the sentiment regarding the nation's history of foreign occupation and colonial subjection. The hope is that this research would not only be significant in shaping Cambodia's memory of its past and future, but that it would elicit informed decisions and creative mechanisms to aid nations arising from violent pasts.