London Korean Links

Covering things Korean in London and beyond since 2006

Contemporary Korean Art: New Directions since the 1960s [forthcoming]

Presents new and thematic interpretations of contemporary Korean art. Presenting fresh and thematic interpretations, this book showcases a collection of the most visually captivating, socially intriguing and often overlooked examples of Korean art. Set against the backdrop of a tumultuous history, artists in Korea embarked on explorations of themselves, society and the profound forces shaping … [Read More]

Song of Arirang: The Story of a Korean Rebel Revolutionary in China [forthcoming]

Song of Arirang tells the true story of Korean revolutionary Kim San (Jang Jirak), who left colonized Korea as a teenager to fight against Japanese imperialism and fought alongside Mao’s Red Army during the Chinese Revolution. First published in 1941, this remarkably intimate memoir (as told to the American journalist Nym Wales aka Helen Foster … [Read More]

The Dawn of War in South Korea (1947-1950): The South Korean Workers’ Party and the April Third Massacre [forthcoming]

This book offers an analytical account of the April Third Massacre in Korea, a bloody confrontation between supporters of the Syngman Rhee Administration and those suspected (largely incorrectly) of being Communists, or members of the South Korean Workers’ Party―the second largest Communist Party after Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule. As a result, some 80,000 … [Read More]

Modern Korean Digraphia: Metanarration and National Identity, 1894–1972

William Strnad traces the formation and development of modern Korean digraphia during the years 1894–1972, including a description and analysis of the historical discourse related to Korean phonetic script and Chinese characters. Modern Korean digraphia was contextualized and altered amid the global emancipation and speculative metanarratives of modernity, and the national metanarratives of nationalism and … [Read More]

The Stone Home

A hauntingly poetic family drama and coming-of-age story that reveals a dark corner of South Korean history through the eyes of a small community living in a reformatory center—a stunning work of great emotional power from the critically acclaimed author of If You Leave Me. In 2011, Eunju Oh opens her door to greet a stranger: … [Read More]

Activism and Post-activism: Korean Documentary Cinema, 1981 – 2022

Activism and Post-activism: Korean Documentary Cinema, 1981—2022 is a new book about nonfiction filmmaking in the private and independent sectors of South Korean cinema and media from the early 1980s to the present day. Drawing on the methodologies of documentary studies, experimental film and video, digital cinema, local discourses on independent documentary, and the literature on … [Read More]

Cornerstone of the Nation: The Defense Industry and the Building of Modern Korea under Park Chung Hee

Cornerstone of the Nation is the first historical account of the complex alliance of military and civilian forces that catapulted South Korea’s conjoined militarization and industrialization under Park Chung Hee (1961–1979). Kwon reveals how Park’s secret program to build an independent defense industry spurred a total mobilization of business, science, labor, and citizenry, all of … [Read More]

Starry Field: A Memoir of Lost History

“Absorbing…Starry Field reminds us that even knowing where we came from won’t tell us where we’re going – but it will help along the way.” Susan Choi, National Book Award winning author of Trust Exercise A poignant memoir for readers who love Pachinko and The Return by journalist Margaret Juhae Lee, who sets out on a search for her family’s history … [Read More]

Seeds of Mobilization: The Authoritarian Roots of South Korea’s Democracy

South Korea is sometimes held as a dream case of modernization theory, a testament to how economic development leads to democracy. Seeds of Mobilization takes a closer look at the history of South Korea to show that Korea’s advance to democracy was not linear. Instead, while Korea’s national economy grew dramatically under the regimes of Park Chung … [Read More]

North Korea’s Mundane Revolution: Socialist Living and the Rise of Kim Il Sung, 1953–1965

When the crucial years after the Korean War are remembered today, histories about North Korea largely recount a grand epic of revolution centering on the ascent of Kim Il Sung to absolute power. Often overshadowed in this storyline, however, are the myriad ways the Korean population participated in party-state projects to rebuild their lives and … [Read More]

The Late and Post-Dictatorship Cinephilia Boom and Art Houses in South Korea

Examines the 1990s growth of art film exhibition, consumption, and cinephilia within South Korean cinema. This book is a narrative history of art film exhibition and cinephilia in post-dictatorship South Korea It is the first study to consider the practical, cultural, and social experience of cinema-going during a formative period of Korean film history It … [Read More]

Moral Authoritarianism: Neighborhood Associations in the Three Koreas, 1931–1972

Moral Authoritarianism offers a new perspective on the three modern Korean states—the Japanese colonial state, South Korea, and North Korea—by studying neighborhood associations during the four war decades (1930s–1960s). The existing historiography perceives the three states in relation to imperialism and to the Cold War, thus emphasizing their differences by political changes. By shifting the focus … [Read More]

Transnationalism and Migration in Global Korea: History, Politics, and Sociology, 1910 to the Present

Contrary to the image of Korea as a largely self-contained country until its economy became global during the 1990s, this book shows that transnationalism has firmly been part of modern Korea’s national experience throughout its existence. The volume portrays Korea’s frequent transnational entanglements with other nations in East Asia and the West from the start … [Read More]

A Gospel for Workers: Cho Chi Song, Yeongdeungpo Urban Industrial Mission, and Minjung

This book tells three overlapping stories: first, the life story of Rev. Cho Chi Song, a pioneer of urban and industrial missions, which served Korean society’s working population; second, the Urban Industrial Mission (UIM) in Korea, which Cho Chi Song pioneered; and third, the story of how UIM provided the roots for Korean Minjung Theology. … [Read More]

The Red Decades: Communism as Movement and Culture in Korea, 1919–1945

Focusing on previously neglected cultural expressions of colonial-period Korean socialism such as Marxist philosophy, Marxist historiography, and travelogues by socialist writers, The Red Decades reveals Marxian socialism as a cultural phenomenon of colonial-age Korea. Providing an account of the social composition of the Communist milieu in 1920s and 1930s Korea and outlining the aims of … [Read More]

The Making of Modern Subjects: Public Discourses on Korean Female Spectators in the Early Twentieth Century

Under Japanese colonial rule in the early 20th century, Korean women began to expand their realm from the domestic to the public sphere. Sung Un Gang examines how the women’s gaze was reimagined in public discourse as they began attending plays and movies, and investigates the complex negotiation process surrounding women’s public presence. As the … [Read More]