“The Emergence of Commercial Economy, Local Administration, and Townsmen in Mid- Eighteenth Century P’yŏngyang”
Sun Joo Kim, Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History; Director, Korea Institute Harvard University
Moderated by Jungwon Kim, King Sejong Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the Humanities in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
Monday, April 25, 2016
12:00PM – 1:30PM
International Affairs Building, Room 918
No registration required.
Co-sponsored by The Korea Foundation and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
P’yŏngyang was one of the most populated and urbanized city in late Chosŏn Korea. It was also a city of material affluence and refined culture. Yet, not much is known for its administrative structure and administration’s interactions with its residents over various administrative matters. What were major administrative challenges and how did the administration negotiate with its tax-paying residents to attain its administrative goals as commercial economy developed? In return, what did city’s residents expect from the administration and how did they deal with the administration when things did not work to their satisfaction? This paper examines how local administration worked at the time when the economy was going through commercialization by closely reading administrative correspondences between local magistrate and provincial governor, which provides unusual details on daily administrative matters.
Sun Joo Kim is the author of Voice from the North: Resurrecting Regional Identity through the Life and Work of Yi Sihang (1672–1736) (Stanford University Press, 2013) and Marginality and Subversion in Korea: The Hong Kyŏngnae Rebellion of 1812 (University of Washington Press, 2007). She is co-author of Wrongful Deaths: Select Inquest Records from Nineteenth-Century Korea (University of Washington Press, 2014) together with Jungwon Kim at the University of Columbia. She served as the editor of a few books including, The Northern Region of Korea: History, Identity, and Culture (Center for Korean Studies, University of Washington, in 2010), Sukch’ŏn chea to, Illustration of My Places of Work (Seoul: Minsokwon, 2012), and forthcoming Cheju-do yŏhaeng ilji, Travelogue from Cheju Island (Seoul: MInsokwon, 2016). Her primary research interests are social and cultural history of Chosŏn Korea. She has received a number of fellowships and scholarships including Korea Foundation Advanced Research Grant and ACLS Collaborative Research Grant. She received her doctoral degree from University of Washington in 2000. Since 2001, she has been teaching at Harvard University where she is now Harvard-Yenching Professor of Korean History in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and director of Korea Institute.