Na Sil Heo
Na Sil Heo is a historian of modern Korea, with research interests in studies of childhood, the cultural Cold War, race, and gender and sexuality. She is currently completing a book manuscript that examines childhood as a site of ideological and cultural formations in 1950s-1960s South Korea. Reading sources ranging from home floor plans and children’s literature to infant formula advertisements, her work reveals how Cold War liberalism manifested in various realms of childhood in postwar Korea.
She has published an article on gender and racial politics of infant feeding in postwar South Korea in Gender & History. She has also outlined a second book project which locates the history of family planning in Korea within transnational circulations of medical knowledge, contraceptives, and population control advocates.
She received her Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of Toronto in 2020. Her research has been supported by fellowships and grants, including the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities at the University of Pennsylvania, Korean Collections Consortium of North America (KCCNA), and Dr. David Chu Scholarship in Asia Pacific Studies at the University of Toronto. Before coming to Yale, she taught Korean history at the University of Toronto and the University of Pennsylvania.
EAST 416, HIST 386J
Childhood and Domesticity in East Asia
This course offers an overview of burgeoning studies of childhood and domesticity in East Asia to get us to think about childhood and domesticity as methodologies of studying East Asia and history in general. Instead of learning about children “as they were,” this course examines how childhood and domesticity were socially constructed. East Asia is our geographical focus, although this course also introduces students to relevant key works in studies of childhood in the United States and Europe. This course focuses on several key questions. How do studies of childhood and domesticity enhance, challenge, and/or broaden our understanding of East Asia? How were normative conceptions of childhood, domesticity, and family constructed and challenged throughout the 20th century? How does scholarship on childhood and domesticity help us understand our own experiences of childhood, family, and homes? How can we make connections between the familiar/mundane everyday life with more explicitly political issues, such as wars and economy? Through a transnational approach, we situate East Asia within the global, transnational circulation of ideas, people, money, and practices that continue to shape how we perceive and experience our childhood, family, and domesticity.