SOAS University of London

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

Nadeschda Bachem

Magister Japanese Studies, German Literature, Philosophy (University of Cologne)
  • Overview


Nadeschda Bachem
Nadeschda Bachem
Thesis title:
Imperialism, Occupation and National Identity in Post-Colonial Japanese and South Korean Literature
Year of Study:
Started in 2013
Internal Supervisors


I received my MA from the University of Cologne in 2011. During my year abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo, I became aware of the issues surrounding the unresolved legacy of colonialism in Japan, leading me to devote my MA thesis to the works of the Korean Japanese writer Yi Yang-ji. After two years working for Toshiba Europe where I started studying Korean, I gravitated back to academia.

I am grateful for the opportunity to expand my field of knowledge by working on notions of coloniality in both South Korean and Japanese literature. I am very much indebted to the German National Academic Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council for supporting my project.

PhD Research

My PhD thesis will analyse Japanese and South Korean post-colonial literature in order to find answers to the following research questions: 1) how did the experience of imperialism shape national identities/narratives of Japan and Korea respectively?, and 2) how did it shape their relationship to each other that continues to be ambivalent until the present day?

Until 1945, the position of both Japan and Korea had seemingly been clearly marked in terms of power – Japan as the dominant force, the colonizer, Korea as the inferior colonized country. However, with the defeat/liberation, Korea and Japan found themselves in similar places: weakened by war-time emergency measures and dependent on their US-American occupiers.

With this point of departure, I will rely on theories of trauma, nationalism and imperialism in order to gain a deeper understanding of the constitutive developments and power-relations in post-colonial East Asia.