Modern Languages, 215
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Hwisang Cho specializes in cultural and intellectual history of Korea (14th–20th centuries). His interests include global written culture, comparative textual media, the history of scholarship, and contentious performances.
Cho’s first book, “Unruly Brushes: Epistolary Practices and Power in Chosŏn Korea,” is forthcoming with the University of Washington Press in 2020. While emphasizing how the new epistolary culture posed challenges to traditional values and already-established institutions, this book demonstrates that new modes of reading and writing developed in seemingly mundane and trivial practices of letter writing triggered a flourishing of Neo-Confucian moral thought, the formation of new kinds of cultural power, and the rise of elite public politics. His new project, titled “The Tales of the Master: Transmedia Storytelling and the Materiality of Charisma in Korea, 1570–1975,” examines how the mechanism of charisma that brought T’oegye Yi Hwang (1501–1570) and his works to prominence was embedded in the pairing of diverse genres, their materiality, and the subsequent reading modes, which manifested various communities and self-identities of their members from late-sixteenth- to late-twentieth-century Korea.
His research has been supported by the Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010–11), the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in Critical Bibliography at RBS-UVA (2015–17) and the Institute for Advanced Study (2016–17). Cho is currently a senior fellow of the Andrew W. Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (SoFCB) and chairing its Diversity and Outreach Committee (2018–21). His works have appeared in and forthcoming from the Journal of Korean Studies, the Journal of Asian Studies and the Journal of the American Oriental Society.