Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Arin Kim Wise L&S Arts & Humanities

Exploring and Resisting the Erasure of Korean Queerness

Literature regarding Korean queerness has expanded within the last decade, but current dominant Korean understandings of queerness view it as a “Western” and modern phenomenon, as well as against Christian values. Therefore, research into Korean queerness across Korean history remains relatively unexplored, and at times, actively suppressed. Through this project, I hope to understand the role that Confucianism and Christianity had in the erasure of queerness from the Korean historical canon, and use the frame of queer and gender theory to re-understand and illuminate queer meanings of historical and modern Korean texts and media. I hope that my research will open up a means of resisting the dominant narrative of silencing queer experiences and offer a fresh perspective that would not only expand knowledge of Korean history in all of its aspects, but also open up the field and Korean research as a whole to embrace progressiveness and acceptance rather than aligning with ideas of homophobia and misogyny.

Message To Sponsor

I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity that you have provided me with your support. I come from the perspective of being a Korean queer person myself, and so this research is incredibly important to me in a personal sense. I also hope to continue to pursue similar research in graduate school, and being afforded this opportunity is of utmost importance not only to my future academic pursuits, but hopefully for the field of Korean history and Korean society as a whole.
Major: Comparative Literature
Mentor: Gregory Choi
Sponsor: Leadership Fund
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