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The Routledge Companion to Korean Literature

The Routledge Companion to Korean Literature consists of 35 chapters written by leaders in the field, who explore significant topics and who have pioneered innovative approaches. The collection highlights the most dynamic current scholarship on Korean literature, presenting rigorous literary analysis, interdisciplinary methodologies, and transregional thinking so as to provide a valuable and inspiring resource for researchers and students alike. This Companion has particular significance as the most extensive collection to date of English-language articles on Korean literature; it both offers a thorough intellectual engagement with current scholarship and addresses a broad range of topics and time periods, from premodern to contemporary. It will contribute to an understanding of literature as part of a broad sociocultural process that aims to put the field into conversation with other fields of study in the humanities and social sciences.

While presenting rigorous and innovative academic research that will be useful to graduate students and postgraduate researchers, the chapters in the collection are written to be accessible to the average upper-level undergraduate student and include only minimal use of academic jargon. In an effort to provide substantially helpful material for researching, teaching, and learning Korean literature, this Companion includes as an appendix an extensive list of English translations of Korean literature.

Heekyoung Cho is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is the author of Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature (2016). Her articles discuss topics on translation and the creation of modern fiction, censorship, world literature, serial publication, world literature, and webcomics. Her current research focuses on seriality in cultural production both in old and new media, including digital serialization and transmedia production, as well as graphic narratives and media platforms.

Source: publisher’s website


Introduction: “Redefined and Challenged: Anthologizing Korean Literary Studies” | Heekyoung Cho

Part I. Premodern and Early Modern Korean Literature

Section I. Manuscript Culture, Materiality, Performativity

  1. Manuscript, Not Print, in the Book World of Chosŏn Korea (1392–1910) | Park, Si Nae
  2. Performing Vernacular: Textual Practices as Bodily Events in Premodern Korea | Cho, Hwisang

Section II. Print, Medium, Transregional Interactions

  1. Books for the Illiterate: the Haengsil-to (Illustrated Guide for Moral Deeds) of Chosŏn Korea | Oh, Young Kyun
  2. Print and Transnational Referentiality: Nam Kong-ch’ŏl’s Printing of Kŭmnŭng chip | Son, Suyoung

Section III. Novel, Gender Dynamics, Transgression

  1. The Elite Vernacular Korean Culture of Chosŏn (1392-1910): Indeterminacy, Hybridity, Strangeness | Chizhova, Ksenia
  2. Lovesickness and Death in Seventeenth-Century Korean Literature | Lee, Janet Yoon-sun

Section IV. Language and Writing, Vernacular, Hybridity

  1. Idu in and as Korean Literature | King, Ross
  2. Hybrid Orthographies and the Emergence of Modern Literature in Early Twentieth Century Korea | Pieper, Daniel

Part II. Modernity and the Colonial Period

Section I. Gender and Sexuality

  1. Capital, Gender and Modernity in Colonial Korean Literature | Jeong, Kelly Y.
  2. Sexual Violence and Its Ideological Labor: Imagining Masculinist Equality and Androcentric Ethnos in Colonial Korean Literature | Lee, Jin-kyung

Section II. Translation and Crossing

  1. Incongruent Reflections: Translation and Bilingual Writings in Colonial Korea | Oh, Yoon Jeong
  2. The Japanese Café France: Chŏng Chi-yong and Self-Translation | Krolikoski, David
  3. Nonsense As Sensibility: The Importance of Not Being Earnest in Colonial Korea and Taiwan | Shih, Evelyn

Section III. Modernity and Coloniality

  1. Language, Science, and the Status of Truth in Late Colonial Korea | Hanscom, Christopher P.
  2. A Minor Modernist’s Conundrum of Representation: Kim Saryang and the Colonized I-Novel | Kwon, Nayoung Aimee
  3. Rewriting the City: Yi Sang, Architecture, and the Figure of the Department Store | Kim, Jina E.

Section IV. Art and Politics

  1. A Forgotten Aesthetic: Reportage in Colonial Korea 1920s–1930s | Park, Sunyoung
  2. Literature (chŏnhyang sosŏl) and the Inward Gaze in the Late Colonial Period | Shim, Mi-Ryong

Part III. Liberation and Contemporary Korean Literature

Section I. Decolonization, Cold War, and Humanism

  1. Decolonizing Literature: Bridging Political Divides in the Post-Liberation Period | Glade, Jonathan
  2. Vitalism and Existentialism in Early South Korean Literature | Chung, Jae Won Edward
  3. Humanism as a Problem of Empire in Modern Korean Literature | Workman, Travis

Section II. Politics, Memory, Orality

  1. Gender and Class Dynamics in the Utilitarian Discourse of the Developmental State and Literature in 1970s and 80s South Korea | Suh, Serk-Bae
  2. (Dis-) embodiment of Memory: Gender, Memory, and Ethics in Human Acts by Han Kang | Lee, Ji-Eun
  3. Continuing Orality in Korean Poetry: Opening a P’an for the Page | Yi, Ivanna Sang Een

Section III. Race, Diaspora, Intersectionality

  1. Ŏmma’s Baby, Appa’s Maybe: Black Amerasian Children and the Layers of Diaspora | Huh, Jang Wook
  2. Intersecting Korean Diasporas | Yi, Christina
  3. Whose Korea is it? Reading Zainichi Literature Intersectionally | Textor, Cindi

Section IV. Division and North Korean Literature

  1. Closed Borders and Open Letters in the Cold War Koreas | Kief, I Jonathan
  2. A Good Wife is Hard to Find: North Korean Women in Fiction | Kim, Immanuel
  3. Children’s Literature in South and North Korea | Zur, Dafna

Part IV. Queer Studies, World Literature, and the Digital Humanities

Section I. Queer Reading and Affect

  1. Forms of Attachment: Ardent Female Intimacies in 1920s Korea | Perry, Samuel
  2. The Poet and the Theater: Perverse Reading and Queer Poetry | Kim, Ungsan

Section II. World Literature, Global Connections, and the Digital Humanities

  1. World Literature, Korean Literature, and the Medical and Health Humanities | Thornber, Karen
  2. Global Korea and World Literature | Medina, Jenny Wang
  3. The Text-Mining of Culture: The Case of a Popular Magazine in 1930s Korea | Lee, Jae-Yon and Kim, Hyun-Joo

Appendix: A Comprehensive List of English Translations of Korean Literature | Hyokyoung Yi

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