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The Korea Now Podcast

Sep 27, 2020

This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Minsoo Kang. They speak about the Record of the Virtue of Queen Inhyeon, Lady Min, the importance of this story in both Korean history and continuing into the present day, the historical context of the story and the central characters during this period in the Joseon Dynasty, the representation of womanhood and womanly virtues, who the likely author was and why the story was written, the historical myths and scholarly inaccuracies that have changed most peoples’ conceptions of the text, the complexities of selecting and undertaking the translation into English, the factionalism and infighting that explains a lot of the details in the text and the direction of the story, the pseudo-history that has built up around both the story and the characters, how we should view the story now and its place in modern Korean society, and why the Record of the Virtue of Queen Inhyeon, Lady Min remains such an important achievement in Korean literature.

Minsoo Kang is an associate professor in European history, with specialities in the cultural and intellectual history of France, England, and Germany in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. in June of 2004 from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he wrote his dissertation on the automaton as a cultural and intellectual symbol in the European imagination. In addition to articles in numerous journals he is the author of ‘Sublime Dreams of Living Machines: The Automaton in the European Imagination’ (Harvard University Press, 2010), co-editor of ‘Visions of the Industrial Age, 1830 - 1914: Modernity and the Anxiety of Representation in Europe’, author of ‘The Story of Hong Gildong’ (Penguin Classics), and ‘Invincible and Righteous Outlaw: The Korean Hero Hong Gildong in Literature, History, and Culture’.

***Record of the Virtue of Queen Inhyeon, Lady Min (

***Introduction to the translation of Record of the Virtue of Queen Inhyeon, Lady Min (

*The Korea Now Podcast #78 (Literature Series) – Minsoo Kang – ‘The Story of Hong Gildong’ (

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