Talk at the Library: Martina Deuchler on Old and New Traditions in Korea
In this Talk at the Library, Professor Martina Deuchler discusses how the role of Confucianism and traditional rituals in Korea have changed over the past decades. Deuchler is a founding figure in the study of Korean history in the West, and a witness of South Korea’s transformation since visiting Seoul and remote rural areas for the first time in 1967.
Prof. Martina Deuchler, born in Switzerland in 1935, received a BA in Chinese classics from the University of Leiden and a Ph.D. in History and Far Eastern Languages from Harvard University. From 1967 to 1969 and again from 1973 to 1975 she conducted research on Korean diplomatic and social history in Korea. From 1988 to 2000 she was professor of Korean Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She is the author of Confucian Gentlemen and Barbarian Envoys: The Opening of Korea, 1875-1885 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1977), The Confucian Transformation of Korea: A Study of Society and Ideology (Council of East Asian Studies, Harvard, 1992), and Under the Ancestors Eyes: Kinship, Status, and Locality in Premodern Korea (Harvard Asia Center, 2015). Her most recent book Pictorial Memoir contains a small selection from over three thousand photographs Martina Deuchler took when she lived in Korea in the late 1960s and early 1970s doing field research. These pictures record her early impressions of Korea, a country that was practically unknown in the West at that time.