Korean Studies, School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU has the pleasure of inviting you to the Talk:
A Korean-language Student from the Kumamoto Prefecture, 1895-1922: The Progress of Nakamura Kentarō, Protectorate Censor of Korean Newspapers
Dr. Kyeong-Hee Choi
Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Korean Studies, The University of Chicago
Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU
26 Apr 2017 (Wed) 4:30-6:00 pm
Few national literary traditions accord the figure of the censor with a separate analytic status for literary scholarship and historical writings, unlike the creative writer, the reader, the critic, the editor, and the translator, among others. Not only does the censor rarely appear in today’s literary histories but also its individual identity is often concealed, except in confidential police records. As a product of Japan’s systematic pre-publication censorship from 1905 to 1945, the history of modern Korean literature, however, cannot be fully narrated without dealing with the censor’s proscriptive and prescriptive acts on Korean vernacular journalism, which contributed to the rise to modern Korean literature. This paper offers an account of the professional trajectory of Nakamura Kentarō (1883-1969), the sole censor of Korean-language newspapers during the Protectorate Era, focusing on his education, social network, and colonial career in Korea. By doing so, it sheds light on the censor’s dominance in absentia on the surface of modern Korean literary publications.
Kyeong-Hee Choi teaches modern Korean literature, gender, and colonial modernity at the University of Chicago. As one of the founding members of the Censorship Studies Collective in South Korea, Choi co-authored Korean-language articles on the systematization of the Japanese government’s publication police in colonial Korea and their postliberation legacies. Examining the intersection between gender, censorship, and propaganda, she published “Another Layer of Pro-Japanese Literature” (Poetica, 1999) and “Impaired Body as Colonial Trope” (Public Culture, 2001) in English. Her current works include a two-volume book project, Beneath the Vermilion Ink: Japanese Colonial Censorship and the Making of Modern Korean Literature and A Genealogy of Colonial Censors in Korea: Journalism, Censorship, and Literature.