HSEA W4888 Woman and Gender in Korean History. 4 points.
While the rise of women's history and feminist theory in the 1960s and 1970s fostered more general reevaluations of social and cultural history in the West, such progressions have been far more modest in Korean history. To introduce one of the larger challenges in current Korean historiography, this course explores the experiences, consciousness and representations of women Korea at home and abroad from premodern times to the present. Historical studies of women and gender in Korea will be analyzed in conjunction with theories of Western women's history to encourage new methods of rethinking "patriarchy" within the Korean context. By tracing the lives of women from various socio-cultural aspects and examining the multiple interactions between the state, local community, family and individual, women's places in the family and in society, their relationships with one another and men, and the evolution of ideas about gender and sexuality throughout Korea's complicated past will be reexamined through concrete topics with historical specificity and as many primary sources as possible. With understanding dynamics of women's lives in Korean society, this class will build an important bridge to understand the construction of New Women in early twentieth-century Korea, when women from all walks of life had to accommodate their "old-style" predecessors and transform themselves to new women, as well as the lives of contemporary Korean women. This will be very much a reading-and-discussion course. Lectures will review the readings in historical perspective and supplement them. The period to be studied ranges from the pre-modern time up to the turn of twentieth century, with special attention to the early modern period.