By Hyaeweol Choi, Arizona State University/Luce Colloquium Series
The presentation focuses on the genealogies of the "modern" woman among Korean intellectuals and American women missionaries within the context of Korea's colonization by Japan at the turn of the twentieth century. Touching on some of the major issues of modern womanhood, such as gender equality, education, participation in the public sphere, and representations of gender in the popular media, it discusses the dynamic interplay between the Confucian-prescribed gender ideology of Korea, the nationalistic desires for nation-building among Korean intellectuals, and the Christian gender ethics of women missionaries. The analysis emphasizes both institutional and discursive endeavors of Koreans and Americans in fashioning modern womanhood in accord with their own mandates-either nationalist, Christian or secular modern. In so doing, the presentation intends to shed light on the ways in which competing narratives on modern womanhood reconfigured Confucian gender ideology for the modern era and also reveals the tensions that women experienced between their newly-found space for emancipation and other forms of social and political control over their bodies and subjectivities.
Hyaeweol Choi, Associate Professor of Korean Studies, earned her B.A. and M.A. from Yonsei University, and Ph.D from SUNY-Buffalo. She taught at Smith College and the University of Kansas before joining the faculty at ASU in 1998. Her work largely concerns gender, culture and religion at the intersection of nationalism and (post)colonialism. She is particularly interested in Korea's cultural and religious encounters with other countries and the subsequent impact on the gender system. She is currently completing a book manuscript that examines the genealogies of the "modern" woman among American Protestant missionaries and Korean intellectuals within the context of Korea's colonization by Japan at the turn of the twentieth century. Her next project focuses on the flow of gendered cultural images, knowledge and artifacts that are manifested in literature, cinema and academia.
open to the public
Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies, Henry Luce Foundation
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