Becoming Censors in Korea, 1894-1945

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Friday, March 7th, 2014

Friday, March 7, 201412:00PM - 2:00PM208N, North House, Munk School of Global Affairs
1 Devonshire Place
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Japanese censorship in Korea began during the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905), and all major laws that governed colonial-era publication were promulgated prior to territorial annexation in 1910. Piloting a way to examine the continuity and discontinuity in Japanese publication policing from the pre-annexation period through the post-annexation era, this paper traces the fashioning of the professional trajectories of key Japanese censors who were engaged in censoring and maneuvering Korean-language newspapers. By casting their second-language acquisition and use of bilingual proficiency against the backdrop of human and institutional networks around them, the paper demonstrates an analytic advantage that the focus on censors offers to our understanding of the Japanese reconstruction of national subjectivity mediated through the access to and control over public knowledge in Korea.

Kyeong-Hee Choi is the Korea Foundation Associate Professor of Modern Korean Literature at the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching interests revolve around literary and cinematic representations of gender, modernity, colonialism, censorship, and democratization. She has published Korean- and English-language articles on the topics of New Womanhood, autobiographical writings, and impairment, and gender and “pro-Japanese” discourse. Her recent publications include “The Establishment of the Book Department and Systematization of Japanese Colonial Publication Police, 1926-1929” (2006) and “Issues and Challenges for Post-liberation Censorship Studies” (2011), both co-authored with Keun-sik Jung. Her forthcoming book, entitled Beneath the Vermilion Ink, deals with the impact of Japanese colonial censorship on the making of modern Korean literature.


Lisa Qiu


Haeyeon Choo
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto

Kyeong-Hee Choi
Associate Professor, Modern Korean Literature, University of Chicago

Main Sponsor

Centre for the Study of Korea


Asian Institute


Dr. David Chu Distinguished Leaders in Asia Pacific Studies


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