This book introduces important contributions in the humanities by a select group of traditional and modern Korean women, from the 15th through the 20th centuries. The literary and artistic works of these women are considered Korean classics, and the featured artists and writers range from a queen, to a courtesan, to a Buddhist nun, to unknown women of Korea. Although women's works were generally meant only to circulate among women, these creative expressions have caught the attention of literary and artistic connoisseurs. By bringing them to light, the book seeks to demonstrate how Korean women have tried to give their lives meaning over the ages through their very diverse, yet common artistic responses to the details and drama of everyday life in Confucian Korea. The stories of these women and their work give us glimpses of their personal views on culture, aesthetics, history, society, politics, morality, and more.
Preface; Acknowledgments; Contributors; 1. Introduction, Young-Key Kim-Renaud; 2. naehun (1475) and the Politics of Gender in 15th-Century Korea, John Duncan; 3. Shin Saimdang (1504-1551): The Foremost Woman Painter of the Choson Dynasty, Yi Song-mi; 4. HoNansorhon (1563-1589) and 'Shakespeare's Sister', Kichung Kim; 5. Demythologizing Hwang Chini (1502-?), Kevin O'Rourke; 6. Private Memory and Public History: The Memoirs of Lady Hyegyong (1735-1815) and Testimonial Literature, JaHyun Kim Haboush; 7. Kyubang kasa: Women's Writings from the Late Choson, Sonja HauBler; 8. A Celebration of Life: Patchwork and Embroidered pojag i by Unknown Korean Women, Kumja Paik Kim; 9. Kim Iryop's (1896-1971) Conflicting Worlds, Bonnie B. C. Oh; 10. Dialectics of Life: Hahn Moo-Sook (1918-93) and Her Literary World, Yung-Hee Kim; Glossary; Index