Artless Song Through Cherry Lips: Writing the Child in Colonial Korea

The magazine for young readers Ǒrini, published from 1923-1931, appeared at a time of political, social, and economic transformations taking place on the Korean peninsula. The ‘cultural rule’ implemented in the wake of the March First Uprisings of 1919 was accompanied by changes to the structure of the Korean family, the growth of public schooling, the flourishing of youth groups, and the emergence of a middle class that demanded a supply of cultural products—including reading materials for young readers. Ǒrini was published in response to this demand, and the magazine’s fresh look and diverse content presented new modes of storytelling that reflected the writers’ ongoing interest in the vernacularization of the Korean language, the emerging ‘visual turn’ in print media, and their underlying concern with the child in a particularly turbulent present and uncertain future. In this talk I delve into the magazine’s aesthetic politics to argue that the texts and image created a unique and affectively privileged literary and visual landscape in colonial Korea.

Friday, Oct 11, 2013

By: Professor Dafna Zur, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Stanford University

Time: 3:30pm-5:00pm
Place: Conference Room #120, C.K. Choi Building
Sponsor: Centre for Korean Research and Department of Asian Studies

image001 (7)Bio: Dafna Zur received her PhD from the department of Asian Studies at UBC in 2011, and is an assistant professor in the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Stanford University. Her book manuscript examines colonial and postwar children’s magazines, and demonstrates the way in which their text and image created a unique and affectively privileged literary and visual landscape.