Gravesite Litigation and Violence in Late Chosŏn Korea

Le 29 janvier 2016

Dans le cadre du séminaire de Jérôme Bourgon et Frédéric Constant à l’EHESS,

Kim Sunjoo

(Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History, Harvard University)
Professeure invitée à l’EHESS,

donne une conférence intitulée

“Gravesite Litigation and Violence in Late Chosŏn Korea“

à la salle 481C , à 14h-16h

Grands Moulins, Université Paris Diderot, Paris 13e.


Historical understanding of nineteenth-century Korea has been largely affected by contention between two major perspectives—nationalist and colonialist—and has tended to remain a larger structural analysis relying on official sources, although some recent studies based on unofficial sources have enriched our knowledge of local history and life. This lecture aims to have a close look at “everyday” in nineteenth-century Korea using an unconventional primary source—inquest records. Homicide investigation records from local magistrates’ courts contain a great deal of valuable evidence of an ethnographic nature, making possible a social history of previously invisible aspects of people’s lives. By closely reading murder cases that evolved from gravesite litigation, this lecture examines quotidian lives of ordinary men and women as well as the clashes between the idealized moral values and the pursuit of personal gains in addition to the Confucian rationales that permeated Korean legal proceedings and adjudication in the late Chosŏn period.

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