SOAS University of London

Japan & Korea Section, Department of East Asian Languages & Culture

Allan Simpson

  • Overview

Overview

Allan Simpson
Name:
Allan Simpson
Thesis title:
Locating a Queer Theory in the Context of Contemporary South Korean Literature (with a focus on the novels of Kim Hyena)
Year of Study:
2
Internal Supervisors

Biography

I began my formal Korean studies with an undergraduate degree in Korean at SOAS, however I had been teaching myself the language beforehand. My BA dissertation was on sexual identity in the poetry of the deceased South Korean poet Ki Hyeongdo. After completing my undergraduate studies, which included a year abroad at Korea University in Seoul, I remained at SOAS to start a Masters in Korean Literature. The focus of my MA dissertation was a comparative study of the ‘queer’ works of the South Korean poet Hwang Inch’an and a short story written by Lee Eunmi.

PhD Research

My current PhD research, also at SOAS, is titled “Locating a Queer Theory in the Context of Contemporary South Korean Literature (with a focus on the novels of Kim Hyena)”. I am especially interested in how the term ‘queer’ and queer theory more broadly is or is not adopted and applied in South Korean contexts. I also argue in my thesis for a distinction to be made between ‘LGBT’ and queer. In specific relation to the literature I examine, I am concerned with queer as a verb, and thus queering the family, the child, gender, hierarchy, sexuality; the ‘queer unwanted’’; “junkification”, and the uses of the body in literature for purposes of self-affirmation and -identification.

I am also interested in queer studies of South Korean film, contemporary LGBT activism, homonormativity, and the production of queer magazines, journals, and other materials in South Korea.