SOAS University of London

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

Miyoung Kim

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Miyoung Kim
Miyoung Kim
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Thesis title:
Modernity in Korean Literature: Based on the study of Ch’unhyang chŏn
Internal Supervisors


I graduated from Seoul National University with a BA in Korean Literature and Language Education. Before I came to SOAS, I had taught Korean Literature and Language at secondary schools in both the UK and South Korea.

Since coming to the UK in the early 2000s, I became more drawn to the differences between Western and Korean literature. Thereafter, whilst studying for my MA at SOAS, I became more aware of the power plays between Eastern and Western Literature. This interest led me to my PhD research at SOAS.

PhD Research

Modern Korean literature has long been blighted by the notion of being peripheral in relation to Western literature since the 20th century. My research aims to investigate the extent to which Korean literature has maintained its own distinctive literary tradition and heritage in the whirlwind created by the influence of Western novels.

My research examines concepts of literary modernity in relation to classical Korean fiction from the late Chosŏn period. I have chosen Ch’unhyang-chŏn (The Tale of Ch’unhyang) as my case study since I believe that it is the very site in which modern and pre-modern literature meet and conflict. By proving a certain degree of continuity between pre-modern and modern Korean literature in Ch’unhyang-chŏn, I want to challenge existing notions of ‘modern’ Korean literature as peripheral and colonial and to bridge the rupture between pre-modern and modern Korean literature.