The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing


Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 4:00pm to 5:30pm


Online Event (Zoom)

Korea Colloquium 

Si Nae Park
Associate Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Si Nae Park studies the literature and literary culture of premodern Korea within the larger context of the Sinographic Cosmopolis. She specializes in the inscriptional practices, history of reading, and linguistic thought of Chosŏn Korea. Park is currently working on a new book project to examine how aurality—tentatively defined as both the vocalization of and listening to a text recited or read aloud by someone else—and social practices of reading shaped late Chosŏn literary landscape with a focus on late Chosŏn vernacular novels (ŏnmun sosŏl) as vocalized books. She is the co-editor of Score One for the Dancing Girl and Other Stories from the ‘Kimun ch’onghwa’: A Story Collection from Nineteenth-Century Korea (University of Toronto Press, 2016) and the author of The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing (Columbia University Press, 2020), a study on the yadam genre of late Chosŏn Korea.

Wiebke Denecke, Visiting Professor of East Asian Literatures, MIT

Wiebke Denecke is currently Visiting Professor of East Asian Literatures at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. She received her BA and MA from George-August University in Göttingen and her PhD from Harvard University. Prior to coming to MIT she held appointments at Barnard College/Columbia University and at Boston University, and visiting professor appointments at Dōshisha University (Kyoto) and Korea University (Seoul).

Her research and teaching encompass the literary and intellectual history of premodern China, Japan and Korea, comparative studies of East Asia and the premodern world, world literature, and the politics of cultural heritage and memory.

She is the author of The Dynamics of Masters Literature: Early Chinese Thought from Confucius to Han Feizi (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010), Classical World Literatures: Sino-Japanese and Greco-Roman Comparisons (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014), and co-editor of The Norton Anthology of World Literature (2012, 2018), The Norton Anthology of Western Literature (2014), The Oxford Handbook of Classical Chinese Literature (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017) and a three-volume literary history of Japan from an East Asian perspective (Nihon “bun”gakushi. A New History of Japanese “Letterature”) (2015-2019).

In 2019 she became the inaugural general editor of The Hsu-Tang Library of Classical Chinese Literature (Oxford University Press) and, with Satoru Hashimoto and Zhang Longxi, she curates the book series East Asian Comparative Literature and Culture (Brill publishers).

Denecke is currently working on translations of Sinitic poetry from Chosŏn Korea, and on projects exploring the relation of early Japanese literary culture to China and Korea, developing methodologies for the emerging field of comparative studies of East Asia’s Sinographic Sphere, and creating visions for the global transformation of the humanities.

Chaired by Karen Thornber, Harry Tuchman Levin Professor in Literature and Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University; Acting Director, Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Fall 2020

To attend this event online, we ask that you please register via the following link:

As we approach the event date, you will receive a reminder email with the Zoom link.