Red Glamour: Korea’s Early Communist Women
In the 1920s, some of Korea’s most famous communists were young women. Suppression and exile obliged them to be transnational and multilingual as they moved between colonial Korea, Manchuria and the Soviet Union.
Products of both the sex-positive socialism of the early 1920s and arelatively self-governing leftist movement scattered throughout North East Asia, these women became celebrities who turned exile into cruise travel and prison experience into sensational novels. With the founding of North Korea in 1948, many of them returned as cabinet ministers, political officers and leaders of state organisations.
This presentation draws on the Library’s Korean collection to trace the fascinating rise and fall of North Korea’s communist feminist elite.
Associate Professor Ruth Barraclough is a labour historian and literary translator from the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University.
Associate Professor Ruth Barraclough is a National Library of Australia Fellow