Urban Modernities in Colonial Korea and Taiwan


Author: Jina E. Kim
Urban Modernities reconsiders Japanese colonialism in Korea and Taiwan through a relational study of modernist literature and urban aesthetics from the late colonial period. By charting intra-Asian and transregional circulations of writers, ideas, and texts, it reevaluates the dominant narrative in current scholarship that presents Korea and Taiwan as having vastly different responses to and experiences of Japanese colonialism. By comparing representations of various colonial spaces ranging from the nation, the streets, department stores, and print spaces to underscore the shared experiences of the quotidian and the poetic, Jina E. Kim shows how the culture of urban modernity enlivened networks of connections between the colonies and destabilized the metropole-colony relationship, thus also contributing to the broader formation of global modernism.

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Jina E. Kim, Ph.D. University of Washington, is Assistant Professor of Korean Literature and Culture at the University of Oregon.
"Jina Kim’s colony-centered approach and the skillful manner in which she combines a wealth of evidence and theory to collapse long-accepted dichotomies between metropole and colony, between advanced and back-ward, are two of the main reasons to recommend this book. A third is the rich texture of everyday life in Korea and Taiwan during the 1920s and 1930s that emerges from her discussions of her literary examples." - Evan N. Dawley, in: The Journal of Japanese Studies, Volume 47, Number 2 (Summer 2021), pp.482-487
List of Figures

Introduction: Text and the City

1 Discovering Modernity: Sketching Urban Landscapes of Home and Abroad

2 Linguistic Modernity: Modernism on the Streets and the Poetry of Kim Kirim and Yang Ch’ih-ch’ang

3 Consuming Modernity: Department Stores and Modernist Fiction

4 Visual Modernity: Screening Women in Colonial Media

Postscript: Contemporary Urban Life in Seoul and Taipei

Appendix: New Words

All interested in critical studies of East Asia’s intra-regional and transcultural connections, and anyone concerned with comparative Korean and Taiwanese modern cultural history, literature, and urban studies.