Updated on 2023/12/04


BAE, Sangmi
Faculty of International Research and Education, School of International Liberal Studies
Job title
Assistant Professor(non-tenure-track)

Research Areas

  • Literature in general   Korean Literature, Korean Culture, Working-class Literature, Feminist Literature / Gender studies   Korean Feminist Movement, Sexuality, Gender Roles in Korean Society


▼display all


Internal Special Research Projects

  • Pious Prostitutes: Confucianism and U.S. Military Sex Workers in Cold War Korea


     View Summary

    This research examines the effect of Confucianism combined with nationalism on the women who have intimate relationships with US soldiers through the two South Korean novels, Endless Romance (Choi Chŏnghee, 1958) and The Man’s House (Park Wan-suh, 2004). First, GI brides in the two novels who are condemned by other South Koreans making the same pejorative gaze against sex workers shows that the disgust against sex workers is not only embedded in Confucian chastity ideology but also the nationalist patriarchy against the women. Second, Choi’s novel seems to attack the South Korean women in intimate relationships with US GIs, but, on the other hand, critically shows us the contemporary situation that oppresses the people who could be obstacles to building a homogenous nation state condoning sexism and xenophobia regardless of occasional hardships such as poverty or family loss. Third, Park’s novel represents how GI brides improve their low self-esteem stemming from the internalized disgust against them following the chronological social change toward GI brides in South Korea from the 1950s to the 2000s. The change also anticipates the possibility of building an inclusive South Korean society that has overcome the colonialism, sexism, and xenophobia that mars its past.