Becoming a New Woman in Colonial Korea: 

Visions, Challenges, and Reality 

Yung-Hee Kim, Professor of Korean Literature

EALL, University of HawaiʻI at Mānoa


Friday, April 13, 2018, 2:50-3:50 PM

Moore Hall 258


This presentation traces the trajectory of “New Woman” (sinyŏsong 新女性) discourses during the colonial period in Korea from the 1920s to the 1930s.  Focusing on the iconic figures of the first generation of modern Korean feminist writers, the talk illustrates how sinyŏsong became the centerpiece for heated discursive exchanges among the colonized Korean intellectuals and how it contributed to reconfiguring ideas about modern Korean womanhood.  The speaker’s research reveals the multi-dimensional complexity of the issue of “New Woman” in colonial Korea, which intersected and was intricately interwoven with contemporary debates about the dynamic tension between Confucian patriarchal gender ideologies and newly imported Western feminisms; collective familism and individualism; tradition and modernity; nationalism and colonialism; and women’s education and their social role expectations, to name a few.

Professor Yung-Hee Kim obtained her Ph.D. degree in Asian Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.  Before joining the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, she taught in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.  She served as the Director of Center for Korean Studies, UHM, 2010-2013.  Professor Kim’s main research interests focus on modern/contemporary Korean women writers, modern Korean fiction, and narratives by Korean writers of the colonial period.  Her publications include Gendered Landscapes: Short Fiction by Modern and Contemporary Korean Women Novelists (Ithaca, New York: East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2017) ; “In Quest of Modern Womanhood: Sinyŏja, A Feminist Journal in Colonial Korea,” Korean Studies v. 37 (2013): 44-78; and Questioning Minds: Short Stories by Modern Korean Women Writers (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010).


The talk is open to the public, and light refreshments will be served.

For more information, please contact Andre Haag (andreh@hawaii.edu)

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Institution

For disability access, please contact the EALL office at 956-8940 or eall@hawaii.edu


Comments are closed.

East Asian Languages & Literatures

1890 East-West Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: (808) 956-8940
Fax: (808) 956-9515
Email: eall@hawaii.edu
Moore Hall 382
The University of Hawaiʻi is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution
©2018 Department of East Asian Languages & Literatures
Follow by Email