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William Faulkner in Korea, Within and Beyond Cold War Politics

Lecture by Boduerae Kwon

Professor Kwon examines the global circulation and reception of William Faulkner and his works during the Cold War era. In particular, she focuses on how Faulkner's popularity among "Third World" intellectuals and writers both exceeds and was determined by the framework of Cold War geopolitics.

In tracing Faulkner's own political and aesthetic transformation before and after World War II, Professor Kwon argue that his use by the architects of the cultural Cold War and literary figures in Third World Nations alike testify to the complexity of cultural and literary networks during this period. Furthermore, she highlight Faulkner's reception in South Korea after the Korean War, detailing his trajectory from France, Japan, and finally South Korea to illuminate the entangled relationship between U.S. government agencies, private foundations, and Korean intellectuals. Ultimately, Professor Kwon's talk hopes to demonstrate how re-reading Faulkner on a global scale offers a way to go beyond the Cold War binary of the "Free World" vs. the "Communist World," and illuminate the international circuits that trouble easy categorizations of "national literature." 

About the Speaker

Boduerae Kwon is Professor and Department Chair of the Korean Language and Literature Department at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. She is an International Visitor with the Humanities Center this quarter. Her research interests include the intersection between politics and aesthetics and the re-situation of Korean literature within the discourse of planetary cultural and literary studies. Her latest book, On the Eve of March 1st: Imagining Peace in an Age of Violence (2019), is an extensive cultural history of the March 1st Movement and its aftermath. It was awarded the Peace Book of 2019, the Korean Publication Culture Award, and the Paju Asia Book Award. 

Co-sponsored with the Center for East Asian Studies



Tuesday, February 1, 2022. 04:30PM


East Asia Library Room 224 (Stanford ID holders only) - Public via Zoom


Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford Humanities Center



RSVP REQUIRED >> This is a hybrid event, with in-person attendance restricted to Stanford affiliates (ID holders). Members of the public can join the talk via Zoom.