Hye Jin graduated from Columbia University with B.A. magna cum laude in Economics-Political Science and from Sciences Po Paris with a Bachelor degree specializing in Asian Studies. She is a native speaker of Korean and Chinese and is interested in the social, political, and intellectual history of East Asia in the twentieth century. Hoping to pursue a career in international law, she will start J.D. program at Columbia Law School in fall 2019.  

Project Summary

Hye Jin’s research investigates how different actors and motivations influenced and drove the narrative around womanhood in North Korea from 1945 to 1960. Using primary sources from North Korea during that period, this project interprets womanhood as a product of negotiation among various actors and motivations. The project finds that the language of productivity, kyoyang, and love is characteristic of narratives around womanhood in North Korea, which reflects the Marxist agenda, a continuation of modern notion of “wise mother and wife” and presumed domesticity of the female role. The resulting womanhood embodies communist modernity that is simultaneously oppressive and liberating - it subordinates female liberation to the male- and party-centered state-building agenda, and yet it also enables women to carve out new space for power and individuality within the limited conditions.