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The Australian National University

Dr Ruth Barraclough

BA (Hons) (UQ) PhD (ANU)
Senior Lecturer, School of Culture, History & Language
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific

Areas of expertise

  • Culture, Gender, Sexuality 200205
  • Asian History 210302
  • Historical Studies 2103
  • Literary Studies 2005
  • Biography 210304
  • Korean Literature 200521

Research interests

I have broad interests in labour history, capitalism, gender studies, literature and literary translation, and biography. My book Factory Girl Literature: Sexuality, Violence and Representation in Industrializing Korea (University of California Press, 2012),  explores the factory girl in Korean literature from the 1920s to the 1990s, showing the complex ways in which she has embodied the sexual and class violence of industrial life. An earlier collective book project: Gender and Labour in Korea and Japan: Sexing Class, co-edited with Elyssa Faison, came out with Routledge in 2009. My book Red Love Across the Pacific, co-edited with Paula Rabinowitz and Heather Bowen-Struyk, was published by Palgrave in 2015. In July 2017 my book Factory Girl Literature translated by Professors Kim Won and Jiseung Roh was published in Korea by Humanitas Press.




I received my PhD in East Asian Studies from the ANU in 2004. In 2004-5 I was postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Japanese and Korean Studies at the University of Sydney and in 2006-7 I was Visiting Assistant Professor in the History Department at the University of Minnesota. I came to the ANU in 2007.

In 1989 I first visited South Korea on an exchange program for university students organised by the Korean Student Christian Federation and the Australian Student Christian Movement. I returned to Korea as an international student in January 1992 and studied Korean language at Yonsei University and Ewha Womans University.

Researcher's projects

I am co-authoring a book Red Glamour: Korea's Early Communist Women with Professor Jiseung Roh from Incheon National University. Red Glamour takes its title from five key communist feminists and the glamour they embodied as transnational radical feminists. Products of both the sex-positive socialism of the early 1920s and a relatively self-governing leftist movement scattered throughout North East Asia, they became political celebrities who turned exile into cruise travel and prison experience into sensational novels. More broadly the book looks at Cold War gender politics, the failure of state feminism in North Korea and the suppressed history of communism's "sexually emancipated women".

I am translating Choi Jeong-hui's A Soft Gray Dawn (1942) for J. Lee, J. Kim and S. Lee (eds.) Korean Stories from the American Empire; and Longing For Your Fierce Gaze (1924) by Hyon Jin Geon for an MLA anthology of translated stories.



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  16 December 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers