Janet Poole

Associate Professor, Department of East Asian Studies
Affiliated Faculty, Centre for the Study of Korea at the Asian Institute




Room 14097, 130 St. George St.


Janet Poole (Ph.D., Columbia University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies. Her research focuses on the relationship between aesthetics and formations of colonialism and postcolonial national division, explored through literature, art and material culture, on theories of translation and literary translation. She is the author of When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea (Columbia University Press, 2014) and translator of a collection of anecdotal essays published during the Pacific War by Yi T’aejun, Eastern Sentiments (Columbia University Press, paperback edition, 2013). She is currently working on several projects: an exploration of the remains of colonial history through a study of Japanese-style houses on the Korean peninsula; the social life of early twentieth-century photography; and a translation of Yi T’aejun’s short stories.

research interests

Aesthetics and colonialism/postcolonialism
Fascism and modernism,
Literature and photography of the Japanese empire
Literary translation and translation theory


Ph.D. Columbia University, 2004

M.A. University of Hawai’i at Manoa, 1995

B.A. (Hons) University of London, 1992

awards and distinctions

Weatherhead East Asia Institute First Book Prize, 2012
Korean Literature Translation Institute Selected Translator Award 2010
Distinction awarded for dissertation, “Colonial Interiors: Modernist Fiction of Korea,” 2004
32nd Korea Times Modern Korean Literature Translation Awards, Short story category, for translation of Yun Dae-nyong, “The Walk of Light,” 2001

selected publications

When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.

“Late Colonial Modernism and the Desire for Renewal.” Journal of Korean Studies 19, no. 1 (Spring 2014): 179-203.

Yi T’aejun, Eastern Sentiments. Translated and edited by Janet Poole. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.

recent courses

Approaches to East Asia
Aesthetics and Politics in 20th century Korea
Modernism and Colonial Korea
Specialist Research Seminar
Material Culture in East Asia (research seminar)
The Global Bildungsroman: Narratives of Development, Time and Colonialism
Modern Ruins

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