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Seminer: Racialization and Intimate Colonial Space: Intermarriage in Korean Literature in the1930s-1940s
Date: 14 November 2012 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures cordially invites you to attend a seminar:

Racialization and Intimate Colonial Space: Intermarriage in Korean Literature in the1930s-1940s

Dr. Su Yun Kim
Korean Studies Program SMLC

Date: Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Time: 4:30 - 6pm
Place: Room 2.16, Run Run Shaw Tower

This seminar explores racialization in the works of Korean writer Yi Hyo-sok (1907-1942) through the metaphor of intermarriage – between Korean and Japanese, and Korean and Russian – at the peak of the Japanese Empire’s expansion. It reads intermarriage against the 'archival grain,' which used to link intermarriage only with the Japanese colonial assimilation. Intermarriage opened many doors for Koreans to participate in Empire building but also complicated the Japanese imperialism’s assumed hierarchy. In the process, as a colonial male intellectual writer, Yi shows that he is capable of a 'reverse imperialism' through management of intimate sentiments of diverse subjects under the empire even while acutely aware of the fact that he can never fully become imperialist. This oscillation shows both the Korean response to Japan’s imperialism and how it refined gender, race, and colonial spaces.

About the speaker:
Su Yun Kim is an Assistant Professor of Korean Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures. Kim received Ph.D. in Literature at University of California, San Deigo (USA), M.A. and B.A. in Yonsei University (Seoul, Korea). Before arriving at the University of Hong Kong, she taught undergraduate courses in Korean literature, culture, and film at Hamilton College and Yonsei University. Most recently, Kim spent few years at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan, as a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow. She is currently working on her book manuscript, Empire of Intimacy: Race, Gender, Intermarriage in Colonial Korea 1910-1945.


All are welcome. No registration is required.

For enquiries, please contact Dr Adelyn Lim at

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