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Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean Literature

From the publisher’s website:

The Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean Literature provides a comprehensive overview of a Korean literary tradition, which is understood as a multifaceted nexus of practices, both homegrown and transnational.

The handbook discusses the perspectives from which modern Korean literature has thus far been defined, analyzing which voices have been enunciated, underappreciated, or completely silenced and how we can enrich our understanding of it. Taking up diverse transnational and interdisciplinary standpoints, this volume aims to encourage readers not to treat modern Korean literature as a self-evident category but to examine it anew as an uncultivated and uncharted space, unearthing its internal chasms and global connections. Divided into five parts, the themes covered include the following:

  • Literature and power
  • Borders and boundaries
  • Rationality in literature and its limits
  • Language, ethnicity, and translation
  • Korean literature in the changing mediascape.

By introducing new conceptual paradigms to the field of modern Korean literature, this book will appeal to students and scholars of Korean, East Asian, and world literature alike.

Yoon Sun Yang is associate professor of Korean and comparative literature at Boston University, US. She is the author of From Domestic Women to Sensitive Young Men: Translating the Individual in Early Colonial Korea (2017).


Part 1: The Power of Literature / The Literature of Power

  1. Art as Freedom and Power: Kim Tongin and the Political Legacy of “Pure Literature” in Modern Korea, Jin-Kyung Lee
  2. Proletarian Reality and Leftist Literature of 1920s and 1930s Colonial Korea, Kimberly Chung
  3. The Colonial Frontier: Primitive Accumulation, Migration, and Settler Colonialism in Kando Literature, Travis Workman
  4. Decolonizing the Future: Postcolonial Themes in South Korean Science Fiction, Sunyoung Park
  5. The Mad Father in the Attic: Torture and the Ethics of Accountability in Post-Authoritarian Korean Fiction, Youngju Ryu

Part 2: Crossing Borders, Redrawing Boundaries

  1. In the Shadow of Nation and Empire: Northwestern Writers in Colonial Seoul, Ellie Choi
  2. Border Crossings between Decolonization and the Cold War: Rethinking Postliberation Literature, 1945–1950, Ji Young Kim
  3. Fracturing Literary Boundaries: Connecting with the Korean Peninsula in Postwar Japan, Jonathan Glade
  4. Crossing the Great Divide: Mid-Century Modernism on the Korean Peninsula, Janet Poole
  5. Division Literature and Visions for De-Bordering: Ch’oe Inhun, Pak Wansŏ, and Individuals without Belonging, We Jung Yi
  6. South Korean Activist Readers of North Korean Literature, Immanuel J. Kim

Part 3: Rationality in Literature and its Limits: Scientists, Detectives, and Doctors

  1. Literary Negotiations with Western Science in Post-Confucian Korea,
  2. The Development of Detective Fiction in Colonial Korea, Jooyeon Rhee
  3. Curing, But Not Healing, in Pak Wansŏ’s “During Three Days of that Autumn,” Karen Thornber

Part 4: Transnational Archives: Language, Ethnicity, and Translation

  1. The Figure of the Translator: Kim Saryang Between Korean and Japanese Literatures, Nayoung Aimee Kwon
  2. Zainichi Writers and the Postcoloniality of Modern Korean Literature, Cindi Textor
  3. Interracial Romance, Unlawful Marriage: Transpacific Encounters in Early Korean-American Literature, Yoon Sun Yang
  4. Autobiography of Others: Dictée’s Counter-Hegemonic Feminism, Kelly Y. Jeong

Part 5: Korean Literature in the Changing Mediascape: Radio, Television, and Print Culture

  1. The Sonic Unconscious and the Wartime Radio Novel in Colonial Korea, Jina Kim
  2. Make Noise, Not War: Television in Yusin-Era Literature, Evelyn Shih
  3. Radicalizing Against Polarities: Poetry and Print Culture in the 1980’s Literary Topography, Susan Hwang

LKL says:

At the eye-watering list price of £190, this is one you’ll want to consult in the library…

Entry on here.

* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site, or for the more recent uploads (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to and Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.