Jiyoung Suh

University of British Columbia

Topography of the Modernity of New Woman in Colonial Korea

This paper intends to illlustrate the gender and modenity in colonial Korea by focusing on the birth of New Woman and its historical location. New Woman appeared as a new female icon all over the world in the early twentitieth century and implanted the new identity of women produced by the introduction of Western modern ideas in Korea. However, the embodiment of New Woman in Korea shows the historical variation from the prototype of New Woman. Furthermore, New Woman does not show a singular and fixed collective identity but includes diverse layers of female subjectivities in colonial Korea. Particularly, with the flow of time, the representaton of New Woman shows the process of refraction and implosion of New Woman images which had different connotations. This paper traces the discursive transformation of New Woman in mass media (mainly newspapers and magazines) in from the 1900s to the 1940s and its historical meanings associated with the relationship of gender and modernity in colonial Korea.