SOAS University of London

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

Owen Stampton

BA (Sheffield), MA (AKS)
  • Research


Owen Stampton
Owen Stampton
Email address:
Thesis title:
A Study on Sino-Korean Poetry of the Enlightenment Era
Year of Study:
started 2018
Internal Supervisors


After completing a BA in Korean Studies at the University of Sheffield including a year at Yonsei University in Seoul, I returned to South Korea to undertake a masters degree in modern and classical Korean literature at the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS). During my masters, I gravitated towards research on Korean poetry, particularly poetry written in older styles of Korean literary language. After 4 years based at AKS I came back to the UK to start my PhD on Sino-Korean poetry of the Enlightenment era.

PhD Research

My current PhD research at SOAS focuses on Sino-Korean poetry or Hansi 한시 漢詩, namely Korean poetry written in literary Chinese, during the enlightenment era (1880 - 1910). My research puts specific emphasis on poetry that appeared in print media - newspapers, literary coteries and student magazines from 1900 to 1910.

The core tenet of my research is to redefine Sino-Korean poetry’s place in modern Korean literary history. At the turn of the century, classical and literary Chinese or Hanmun 한문 漢文came to be seen a dated relic and a hindrance that would hold Korea back as it faced a new world of development and international exchange. Korean literary history books and school textbooks often maintain the narrative that literary Chinese was left behind, disappearing from use as the Joseon Dynasty came to an end.

Textual evidence, however, demonstrates that poetry written in literary Chinese actually continued to have significant popularity, appearing in a variety of publications as recently as the 1940s - this fact remains almost unknown. It can be argued that this style of poetry, still today thought of as being inherently linked to the past, actually showed signs of change and adaption as Korea transitioned to a new, ‘modern’ era.

My current research seeks to answer a number of broad questions surrounding the redefinition of modern Korean poetic history and canon formation and ideology, with the greater aim of bringing this unexplored topic in English language scholarship to a broader audience interested in Korean literature.


  • SOAS Centre of Korean Studies
  • Korea Foundation
  • Academy of Korean Studies


  • Modern and Classical Korean Prose and Verse
  • Modern Korean Stage Drama
  • Literature of the Sinosphere
  • Classical Chinese Studies