Encounter, Transformation, and Agency in a Connected World
Narratives of Korean Women, 1550–1700
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Analysing a series of narratives that described women who transformed the worlds they lived in, this book introduces students and scholars to the lives of the women of Joseon Korea 1550-1700. Exploring both their interactions at home and abroad, this book shows how the agency of these women reached far across the globe
The narratives explored here appeared in a wide range of written, visual and material forms, from woodcuts and printed texts, letters, journals and chronicles, to inscriptions on monuments, and were produced by Joseon’s elite officials, grieving families, Japanese civic administrators, Jesuit missionaries, local historians of the Japanese ceramic industry, and men of the Dutch East India Company. The women whose voices, lives and actions were presented in these texts lived during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a time when Joseon Korea was itself undergoing substantial social, political and cultural changes. Their works described women’s capacity to transform, in ways large and small, themselves, their families, and society around them. Interest in such women was not limited to a readership within the kingdom alone in this period but was reported across transnational networks to a global audience, from Japan to Europe, carrying messages about Korean women’s agency far and wide.
Encounter, transformation, and agency in a connected world: Narratives of Korean women, 1550-1700 is essential reading for students and scholars interested in the history of Joseon Korea and Asia and the history of women in the early modern period more broadly.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements List of Figures Introduction 1. ‘It is ill-fated for women to live this long’: The experience of older women in the correspondence of Madam Kang 2. 'I will surely take revenge': Dead women seen and heard in the Tongguk sinsok samgang haengsil-to 3. ‘Now is the time to do this’: The Christian convert's voice 4. ‘A treasure and the beginning’: Korean women in the development of Japanese ceramic production 5. ‘No more than female slaves’: Narrating the agency of Joseon women Conclusions Select Bibliography Index
Susan Broomhall is Director of the Gender and Women’s History Research Centre at the Australian Catholic University. She was a Founding Chief Investigator of the Academy of Korean Studies-funded Korea Research Centre at The University of Western Australia. She is a historian of women and gender in the early modern world, with over twenty monographs and edited collections.