This article explores how gender shift occurs in p'ansori, especially with a female storyteller: in the style of narration, in the timbre and inflection of the voice, between characters from the story, and between the roles of a narrator and a performer. Understanding the sociohistorical conditions that helped bear and nurture the vocal art of p'ansori is crucial to an understanding of how singers handle the process of cross-gender vocalization, particularly with Korea's strict Neo-Confucian heritage that emphasizes segregation of masculinity and femininity. The role of gender is also examined within the stories of the p'ansori, especially how their portrayal fits with the modern feminist view that women in p'ansori are sexual objects performing before the dominant male audience. Finally, this study discusses the performative identity that women singers of p'ansori have constructed upon the already complex stage gender shaped by male singers of the past era.


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pp. 62-81
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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