This talk explores the gender history of modern Korea from a transnational perspective. The basic premise is that national histories are inherently transnational due to the dynamic flow of ideas, images, discourses, material cultures, and people across national boundaries. It is that transnational flow that has triggered new gender norms, reformed domestic practices, fostered a sense of locality in contrast to global features, and helped women claim new space in the public sphere.
As a way to illustrate the transnational nature of modern womanhood in Korea, the talk specifically discusses the life politics of domesticity, which shows the dynamic interplay between the intimate and the structural, between the domestic and the public, and between the local and the global. It concludes with a brief contemplation of the future directions of everyday gender politics in the current age of excess, inequality, and ecological crises.