Hyaeweol Choi

Hyaeweol Choi is Professor of Korean Studies at Australian National University. She is the author of Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea: New Women, Old Ways (University of California Press, 2009), New Women in Colonial Korea (Routledge, 2013), Gender in Modern East Asia (co-authored, Westview, 2016) among others. Her research interests are in the areas of gender history, religious encounters and postcolonial critique. She is currently working on a book, re-examining the modern gender history of Korea from a transnational perspective.




A Modern Cult of Domesticity: Gender and Christian Modernity

This presentation focuses on the genealogies of the “wise mother, good wife” ideology, the most influential ideal for women in modern Korea. It argues that the ideology was the product of transcultural encounters in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Korea when Korea’s Confucian-prescribed gender norms were refashioned and reconstituted under the influence of American women missionaries’ concept of “true womanhood” and the Japan’s Meiji gender ideology of ryōsai kenbo.

  • Friday 10 March 2017, 10:00-12:00 - EHESS, Maison de l’Asie, 22, avenue du Pdt Wilson 75116 Paris


Crossing the Lines: Korean Women, Christianity, and the Impulse to Claim New Space

Pahk Induk (1896-1980) is one of the most famous and controversial women intellectuals in modern Korea. She was a protégé of her missionary teachers, received higher education in the US, travelled the world twice as a representative of mission organizations, and was eventually labeled as a “collaborator” with the Japanese imperial power during the Asia Pacific War. Using Pahk’s life story as a case in point, I discuss the critical role of the Protestant mission in the gender history of Korea within the broader context of Korean nationalism, Japanese colonialism, and transnationalism in the early twentieth century. 

  • Wednesday 22 March 2017, 10:00-12:00, Université Paris Diderot (room 473C), UPD – Grands Moulins – Bât C.


The Experience of "House" and "Home" in Colonial Korea

In this presentation I trace the evolution of the idea and image of the “modern home” in late nineteenth and early twentieth century Korea with central focus on the role of the transpacific network. It focuses on the role that American Protestant missionaries, enlightenment-oriented social reformers and foreign-educated intellectuals played in fashioning the ideal home, which came to be reflected in images associated with the “missionary home,” the “home, sweet home” and “a doll’s house.”

  • Friday 24 March 2017, 10:00-12:00, EHESS , Maison de l’Asie, 22, avenue du Pdt Wilson, 75116 Paris


Desires in colonial memories: kisaeng, assassin and new woman

Popular culture is a powerful channel for re-imagining the past. In this presentation, I specifically analyze two examples: Capital Scandal (Kyŏngsŏng scandal, 2007) and Assassination (Amsal, 2015), both set in 1930s colonial Korea, examining the interplay between two competing desires: the desire for the liberated modern self and the yearning for national independence. These desires ultimately converge in a homogenizing narrative about the nation, reinforcing the still pervasive sentiments of “affective nationalism” in contemporary Korea.

  • Friday 24 March 2017, 14:00-16:00 – EHESS, Maison de l’Asie, 22, avenue du Pdt Wilson, 75116 Paris