HIST 78.04; X-LIST: ASCL 64.14
Slaves and Rebels in Korea, 1392-1910
This course explores the history of Choson Korea (1392-1910) through the experiences of outcasts and commoners. By examining the desires and despair of peasants, slaves, rebels, entertainers, and religious minorities, thls course assesses the foundation of the state and the operation of society as manifested at the margins of society. How did the religious and intellectual heritage of Korea legitimize hereditary status, slave ownership, gender division, and regional discrimination? In what ways did ordinary people conform to or struggle against elite governing? Does the longevity of the Chason dynasty testify to the successful control of the status system by those at the top? Or does the stability elucidate social mobility and dynamic interactions across the status divisions? Focusing on various status groups illuminates the mechanisms of domination, compliance, and resistance carried out at the micro level. The experiences of the underrepresented shed light on the transition to modern Korea and present the complicated process of constructing Korean identity over time. A background in Korean history is not required.