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War, Genocide, and JusticeCambodian American Memory Work$
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Cathy J. Schlund-Vials

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816670963

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816670963.001.0001

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Battling the “Cambodian Syndrome”

Battling the “Cambodian Syndrome”

(p.1) Introduction Battling the “Cambodian Syndrome”
War, Genocide, and Justice

Cathy J. Schlund-Vials

University of Minnesota Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the Khmer Rouge regime, which pursued an untenable agricultural revolution and which was also determined to eradicate any signs of a Western influence. The Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge renamed Cambodia, Democratic Kampuchea and dismantled centuries-old traditions and prerevolutionary socioeconomic infrastructures. This book focuses on both collected and collective memorialization, beginning with author James Young’s examination of Holocaust memorials and remembrance. It investigates how Cambodian American cultural producers have rearticulated and reimagined the Killing Fields era using three distinct and unfixed modes of negation: dominant-held erasures, refugee-oriented ruptures, and juridical open-endedness.

Keywords:   Khmer Rouge, agricultural revolution, Pol Pot, Cambodia, Democratic Kampuchea, totalitarian repudiation, memorialization, James Young, remembrance, Killing Fields

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