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The Korea Now Podcast

Dec 21, 2019

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Merose Hwang. They speak about the efforts to assimilate Korean Shamanism during the colonial period, the concerns this raised within the Korean public, the challenges this seemed to present to ideas of modernity and Korean identity, the resistance that other religions had to the idea of making Shamanism mainstream, the ways in which scholars and institutes tried to re-gender the history of Shamanism and Korea, the phenomena of transgender Shamans, the incorporation of Shamanism into recognised guilds, the public plays and rituals these guilds performed, and how they subversively challenged the idea of colonialism through public spectacles and reversals of gender roles.

Merose Hwang is an Associate Professor of History and the Program Coordinator for the Asian Studies Minor at Hiram College. She has held positions as a research fellow at the Institute for Korean Studies, Yonsei University, and has been a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for the Study of Religion, Sogang University. She has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Kathryn W. Davis Fellowship for Peace, Korea Foundation’s Rising Stars Program, Connaught Fellowship, Samsung Fellowship, the Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies, and most recently the Korea Foundation. Relevant to this podcast, Merose is the author of: ‘Ritual Specialists in Colonial Drag: Shamanic Interventions in 1920s Korea’ in the upcoming book ‘Queer Korea’ (Duke University Press).

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