Jang Wook Huh
- Assistant Professor
- University of Washington
Black Radicalism in Korea: The Poetics of Overlapping Dispossessions in Afro-Korean Literary Intersections, 1910-1953
This dissertation examines how African Americans and Koreans innovated literary forms to animate a cross-racial solidarity against two forms of empire in Korea—Japan’s colonization of Korea, 1910-45, and US political intervention in Korea, 1945-53. It combines African American and Korean studies to reconstruct a literary history of Afro-Korean radical intersections. It argues that three poetic modes, African Americans’ metaphorical, US missionaries’ interlocutory, and Koreans’ appropriative translations between racism and imperialism, connected the racial subjugation in the US to the colonial subjugation in Korea. By drawing on the issues of diaspora, racial uplift, missionary work, jazz composition, and militarization, it considers the little-known legacy of black radicalism in the Pacific.
"Afro-Korean" Encounters: The Literary Intersections of Black Liberation Struggles in the US and Anticolonial Movements in Korea, 1910-1953
This book examines the literary and cultural connections between Black liberation struggles in the United States and anticolonial movements in Korea during Japanese colonization from 1910-1945 and U.S. military intervention from 1945-1948 and 1950-1953. This cross-racial history manifested in a variety of contexts, ranging from literary works and jazz songs to state apparatuses such as the U.S. Army and an industrial school that could be considered “Tuskegee in Korea.” This project draws on a wide range of archives, including American missionary documents, declassified government files, and military records, as well as literary and cultural texts. In doing so, it investigates the ways in which African American and Korean writers compared U.S. racial discrimination and Asian colonial subjugation to challenge the Japanese and U.S. Empires. By exploring issues of “racial uplift,” shared notions of dispossession, male friendship and homoerotic desire, and Cold War propaganda, this study aims to highlight a little-known legacy of Black internationalism and the creative roles of Koreans in disseminating Black culture.