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Lasting Impressions: Rock Carvings as Travel Practice in Chosŏn Korea

Book talk by Prof. Maya Stiller (University of Kansas), cosponsored by the UCLA Center for Korean Studies

Friday, February 11, 2022
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (Pacific Time)

This talk introduces a ubiquitous visual element embedded in the late Chosŏn landscape: autographic rock inscriptions (chemyŏng). Kŭmgangsan has the largest concentration of such inscriptions in East Asia. By inscribing their names into Kŭmgangsan’s rock surface, travelers could initiate their remembering outside of institutional boundaries and broaden the range of people who would see their names. These autographic carvings demonstrate that, in the late Chosŏn, a sense of belonging to the social elite was not only tied to knowledge of the Confucian Classics, the successful passing of government exams, or the display of literary skills, but was also linked to socio-spatial performative activities in the landscape.

Prof. Maya Stiller teaches Korean art history at the University of Kansas. With a double major in Korean Studies and Art History, she spent several years living and studying in Korea and Japan. Under the tutelage of Robert Buswell, John Duncan, William Bodiford, and Burglind Jungmann, she earned a Ph.D. in Asian Languages & Cultures from UCLA in 2014. Her book Carving Status at Kŭmgangsan was recently published by University of Washington Press. She is currently working on her second book project, Korean Buddhist Temple Economy, which highlights several strategies including fundraising and manufacturing that Korean temples use(d) to become economically self-sufficient.

Special Instructions
This is a Zoom event.

Cost : Free and open to the public but RSVP required

Jennifer Jung-Kim

Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies

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