Research Expertise and Interest

Korean literature and culture

Research Description

Kevin Michael Smith is an assistant professor in East Asian Languages & Culture.  His research and teaching focuses on modern Korean literature and culture with emphasis on poetry and poetics. His scholarly practice is concerned broadly with aesthetics and politics in colonial Korea and its aftermath, pursuing questions of uneven development, literary form, and periodization comparatively across East Asia and Euro-America. His theoretical influences include Western Marxism, posthumanism, and psychoanalysis.

He has published articles on Korean and Japanese modernist poetry, painting, and photography as well as translations of various works by modern and contemporary Korean and Japanese poets, including Im Hwa, O Chang-hwan, Yi Won, and Kitasono Katsue. He is currently completing his first book manuscript, Shuddering Century: Modernist Poetry in Colonial Korea and the Poetics of Historical Difference which examines the uneven and accelerated reception of the avant-gardes by Korean poets in the 1920s and ‘30s. His second book project aims to situate chronologically the resurgence of Romanticism in late colonial Korean poetry and explore how the rehabilitation of the lyric subject functioned as a defense mechanism against the totalitarian subsumption of the individual by the imperial Japanese body politic.

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