Mapping Korean American Literary Studies in Korea, 1994-2016

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Department of English, NTNU


This paper reflects on how Korean American literature has been received and studied in Korea as a subfield of English/American literature, and discusses its prospects by analyzing Korean American literary studies published in Korea from 1994 to 2016. Our database covers 290 articles published in the 23 KCI journals of Korea listed under the category “English and literature,” which deal substantially with Korean American literature. Through quantitative analysis of the database, we examine the literary genres of Korean American literature and the unbalanced levels of scholarly interest these genres receive; different modes of critical approaches taken by researchers; changes in the demographics ofKorean American authors; the diverse concerns of Korean scholars and Korean American writers; and potential future directions for Korean American literary studies. From this quantitative examination, we illuminate changes in literary subject matter and critical interests, as well as the contributions and roles of Korean scholars in the field of Korean American literature. Our research can serve as a valuable resource for domestic and overseas scholars to review the development of Korean (Asian) American literature, and further facilitate theirinter-Asian and trans-Pacific interactions and exchanges on the subject.