Project

Black Radicalism in Korea: The Poetics of Overlapping Dispossessions in Afro-Korean Literary Intersections, 1910-1953

Program

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships

Department

English & Comparative Literature

Abstract

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.