This article explores the role of missionary photography in enhancing our understanding of Christian mission history. It specifically focuses on the visual embodiment of women whose lives and stories have largely been overlooked in the history of Korean Christianity. Tracing the early pictorial images of women in relation to missionary writings, the article demonstrates the ways in which photographs—either in natural or staged settings—were taken, circulated, and appropriated for the purposes of missionary goals. In doing so, the article argues that missionary photography is an expedient analytical tool to plumb the dynamic interactions between the missionaries and the missionized and to demonstrate the interplay between material culture and human desire.
|Published - 2010