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Vernacularizing Sinitic Poetry in Early Modern Korea and Vietnam

Vernacularizing Sinitic Poetry in Early Modern Korea and Vietnam

This is the fifth of five webinars in the 'Korea-Vietnam before the 20th Century Series' scheduled for Fall 2022. This series brings together scholars interested in Korean-Vietnamese in dialogue in order to develop a framework for meaningful future collaboration.

Thursday, November 17, 2022
6:00 PM (Pacific Time)

During his lecture, Dr. King will make a preliminary and tentative attempt at comparing the ways in which vernacularized forms of Sinitic poetry (詩) were developed in Korea and Vietnam in the 17th-19th centuries. Taking his cue from Taylor (2008, 2020) and especially his consideration of “poems in demotic modes” and the quest for a “high-register vernacular voice,” Dr. King compares a range of hybridized and vernacularized forms of Sinitic poetry in Vietnam from the 16th and 17th centuries to analogous “irregular” or “anomalous” Sinitic poetry (soakpu小樂府,kwach’esi科體詩,pyŏnch’esi變體詩,p’agyŏksi破格詩,ŏnmun p’ungwŏl諺文風月,yuktam p’ungwŏl肉談風月, etc.) poems from late Chosŏn Korea and Korea’s Enlightenment Period (18th – early 20th centuries), as studied, for example, in Yi Kyuho (1986) and more recently in Pak Chongu (2009), Ku Sahoe (2015), and Sim Kyŏngho (2018). Questions addressed are the prosodic features of different types of vernacularized Sinitic poetry, the extent and varieties of vernacular accommodation, the extent to which the Korean examples sought to create a “vernacularized Sinitic voice,” and the fate of such poetry, both within contemporary generic hierarchies and in modern scholarship.   

For more information about the series and other speakers, please check out fall webinar schedule

To join the talk, please click here.     


Dr. Ross King is Professor of Korean at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on the cultural and social history of language, writing, and literary culture in Korea and in the Sinographic Cosmopolis more broadly, with a particular interest in comparative histories of vernacularization. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies.  

Dr. Keith Taylor is Professor of Sino-Vietnamese Studies in the Asian Studies Department of Cornell University. He has published books and articles on Vietnamese history and literature. After serving with the US Army in Vietnam he completed his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan in 1976. He subsequently taught in Japan for three years, in Singapore for six years, and at hope College for tow years. He has been at Cornell since 1989. In recent years, his research interest has been oriented toward the early phase of writing Vietnamese poetry in demotic prosodic modes during the 16th and 17th centuries. 


This series is sponsored by Academy of Korean Studies (Project: AKS-2020-C-15), James P. Geiss & Margaret Y. Hsu Foundation, UCLA’s Center for Korean Studies, Center of Southeast Asian Studies, and the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. 


Sponsor(s): Center for Korean Studies, Center for Southeast Asian Studies

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