Korean Women Writers are Conference Topic

A conference at the Center for Korean Studies February 14–15, 2019, will delve deeply into the works of more than a dozen well-known modern and contemporary Korean Women writers.

The conference, titled “Intersectionality of History, Socio-political Consciousness, and Gender: Modern and Contemporary Korean Women Writers and Their Works,” was organized by Yung-Hee Kim, professor of Korean literature and a member of the Center for Korean Studies faculty. It will feature presentations by some of the leading specialists in Korean women’s literature, women’s studies, and related fields from Korea and the United States.

Participating scholars will explore how Korean women writers from the colonial period (1910–1945) to the 1990s articulated their ideas and views about the landmark events in modern Korean historico-political history—Japanese colonial exploitation, post-liberation political and social chaos, the Korean War trauma (1950–1953), and the military government’s oppression (1961–1993)—and their impact on gender identities of Korean women and their social role expectations.

The major writers they will cover include Na Hye-sŏk (나혜석; 1896–1948), Pak Hwa-sŏng (박화성; 1904–1988), Kang Kyŏng-ae (강경애; 1907–1944), Ch’oe Chŏng-hŭi (최정희; 1912–1990), Han Mu-suk (한무숙; 1918–1993), Kang Sin-jae (강신재; 1924–2001), Pak Kyŏng-ni (박경리; 1927–2008), Pak Wan-sŏ (박완서; 1931–2011), O Chŏng-hŭi (오정희; b. 1947), Ch’oe Yun (최윤; b. 1953), and Kim In-suk (김인숙; b. 1963).

The program for the two-day conference is organized in five thematic sessions: Dynamics of gender, class, and colonialism; Impacts of Korean liberation and political/ideological division of Korea on women’s identities and social role expectations; The Korean War and its bearing on the change of women’s status, role, and social expectations; Anti-government, dissident discourses and gender politics of the 1980s; and Women’s social advancement, visibility, and presence in the gender and cultural landscapes of 1990s Korea.

Session begin at 9 a.m. each day. Program details are available at https://ckshi.org/2VqTjJ4. Presentations will be delivered in both Korean and English.

Support for this conferences is being provided by Center for Korean Studies; the Literature Translation Institute of Korea; the Hee Kyung Lee Kwon Endowment for the Enhancement of the Korean Literature Program, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; the College of Languages, Linguistics, and Literature, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; and the Academy of Korean Studies Core University Fund.

This event is free and open to the public. For further information, including information regarding access for the handicapped, telephone the Center for Korean Studies at (808) 956-7041.

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