Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Servants of the DynastyPalace Women in World History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Anne Walthall

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520254435

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520254435.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

The Vanished Women of Korea: The Anonymity of Texts and the Historicity of Subjects

The Vanished Women of Korea: The Anonymity of Texts and the Historicity of Subjects

(p.280) 14 The Vanished Women of Korea: The Anonymity of Texts and the Historicity of Subjects
Servants of the Dynasty

JaHyun Kim Haboush

University of California Press

Although they remain faceless, there were, at any given moment until the nineteenth century, at least 500 women in service at court during Chosŏn Korea (1392–1910). These women are often seen in the dual perspectives of the metonymic and the metaphoric: as representation and signifier of the monarchy. At the Chosŏn court, palace women not only actively participated in the daily and ritual life of the court; they also produced objects, some of which reflect the individual hand of their creator. Still, these women are conceived of and presented collectively and anonymously. This chapter brings these women into focus and recovers their identities as historical subjects. It first looks at the material objects that they produced, locating those objects in their cultural and historical context in order to decode their meanings through a system of signification. It then considers two categories of writing: a memoir, The Record of the Event of 1613, and inner palace registries (palgi), accounts of the objects produced that were consumed daily and on special occasions at court.

Keywords:   Chosǒn Korea, palace women, Chosǒn court, material objects, signification, memoir, inner palace registries, historical subjects

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.