Asian Beliefs: How Chinese Zodiac Signs Affect Women

Lecturer: 
Maija Rhee Devine
Date: 
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 -
7:30pm to 9:00pm
Venue: 
Second floor Residents’ Lounge, Somerset Palace
Admission: 
10,000 won for non-members and 5,000 won for students (with student ID); free for members

Folk beliefs in the power of the Chinese zodiac signs to affect fortunes of human beings have flourished for millennia in Asian regions.  Even today, in Korea and elsewhere, in tandem with world-record-breaking scientific and technological advances, the zodiac myths exert power over men and women, and contribute to the creation of various societal phenomena, including the dramatically fluctuating birth rates, increased abortions of female fetuses in certain years, population imbalances, and popularity (or unpopularity) of persons of certain signs as marriage or business partners. 

In China, Korea, and other Asian countries, such beliefs enable expanding commercial activities, such as fortune telling, match making, and shamanistic rituals.  Presenting numerous images and a discussion of philosophies, such as Taoism and the Yin-and-Yang-and-Five-Elements School of Philosophy, which contributed to the formation of the zodiac signs and related practices including geomancy and feng shui, the lecturer will discuss how Asian beliefs in Chinese zodiac signs continue to impact lives, particularly those of women. 

The lecturer’s talk on this topic can be listened to at:  KKFI FM 90.1, “Every Woman,” 8/05/2017, http://www.kkfi.org/program-episodes/chinese-zodiac-effects-womens-lives-today/

 

Maija Rhee Devine earned her B.A. from Sogang University and an M.A. in English literature at St. Louis University.  She is the author of The Voices of Heaven (2013), an award-winning autobiographical novel about Korea, and a book of poetry, Long Walks on Short Days (2013).  Her short stories, essays, and poems have been published in literary journals in the United States, including The Kenyon Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Boulevard, and The North American Review, and in anthologies.  Her poems also appeared in Wilderness, a Korean literary journal.

She has taught English and Eastern Civilization at Soodo Women’s Teachers College (Sejong University), Sogang University, Xavier University, the University of Wyoming, and the University of Kansas. 

Her TEDx Talk about today’s gender issues in Korea and other Asian countries is at: http://youtu.be/GFD-6JFLF5A.  Her work-in-progress is a nonfiction book, World War II Comfort Women Experiences.  Her numerous op-eds on this topic were published in The Korea Times and The Kansas City Star.  Contact: maijadevine@gmail.com or www.MaijaRheeDevine.com

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