Children’s Literature in Modern Korea

Zur book coverStan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Kore­an lit­er­a­ture spe­cial­ist Daf­na Zur will explore the emer­gence and devel­op­ment of writ­ing for chil­dren in mod­ern Korea in a lec­ture at the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies Fri­day, April 7, 2017. Zur’s talk will begin at 4:00 p.m. in the Center’s con­fer­ence room. In her pre­sen­ta­tion, she will elab­o­rate on the research she did for her forth­com­ing book, Fig­ur­ing Kore­an Futures: Children’s Lit­er­a­ture in Mod­ern Korea. The book will be pub­lished lat­er this year by Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty Press.

Zur’s research exam­ined children’s peri­od­i­cals against the polit­i­cal, edu­ca­tion­al, and psy­cho­log­i­cal dis­cours­es of their time. She found that the fig­ure of the child was par­tic­u­lar­ly favor­able to the project of moder­ni­ty and nation-build­ing, as well as to the colo­nial and post-colo­nial projects of social­iza­tion and nation­al­iza­tion. Accord­ing to her study, Kore­an children’s lit­er­a­ture has built on a tra­jec­to­ry that begins with the child as an organ­ic part of nature and ends, in the post-colo­nial era, with the child as the pri­ma­ry agent of con­trol of nature. The fig­ure of the child became a dri­ving force of nos­tal­gia that stood in for future aspi­ra­tions for the indi­vid­ual, fam­i­ly, class, and nation.

Dafna Zur photoDaf­na Zur is an assis­tant pro­fes­sor in the East Asian Lan­guages and Cul­tures Depart­ment at Stan­ford Uni­ver­si­ty, where she teach­es cours­es on Kore­an lit­er­a­ture, cin­e­ma, and pop­u­lar cul­ture. She earned her doc­tor­ate at the Uni­ver­si­ty of British Colum­bia and has pub­lished arti­cles on North Kore­an sci­ence fic­tion, the Kore­an War in children’s lit­er­a­ture of North and South Korea, Kore­an folk tales, and child­hood in cin­e­ma. Her trans­la­tions have been pub­lished in wordwithoutborders.org, The Colum­bia Anthol­o­gy of Mod­ern Kore­an Short Sto­ries, Aza­lea, Asia Lit­er­ary Review, and Wax­en Wings.

Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies events are free and open to all. This pre­sen­ta­tion is sup­port­ed by the Core Uni­ver­si­ty Pro­gram for Kore­an Stud­ies through the Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion of the Repub­lic of Korea and the Kore­an Stud­ies Pro­mo­tion Ser­vice of the Acad­e­my of Kore­an Stud­ies (AKS-2015-OLU-2250005). For fur­ther infor­ma­tion, includ­ing infor­ma­tion regard­ing access for the hand­i­capped, tele­phone the Cen­ter for Kore­an Stud­ies at (808) 956‑7041. The Uni­ver­si­ty of Hawai‘i is an equal opportunity/affirmative action Insti­tu­tion.