David S. Roh

Feb 11, 2022

Minor Transpacific

Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions

Stanford University Press 2021

In Minor Transpacific: Triangulating American, Japanese, and Korean Fictions (Stanford University Press, 2021), David S. Roh brings Asian Americanist study of Korean American literature in conversation with Asian studies scholars’ work on Zainichi literature—that is, the literature of ethnic Koreans displaced to Japan during the Japanese occupation of Korea—to model what a sustained dialogue between Asian studies and Asian American studies scholarship might reveal about both Korean American and Zainichi literatures.

On this episode of New Books in Asian American Studies, David Roh chats about the fortunate happenstances that led him to this project, Younghill Kang’s thoughts on Syngman Rhee and the expansion of US empire in Korea, the legal status of the Zainichi and how it troubles Asian American assumptions about citizenship and nationality, the incorporation of American racial discourse into Kazuki Kaneshiro’s GO, tensions and problems in Asian American studies’ taking up of discourse around so-called “comfort women,” study abroad as it brings together the paths of both real and fictional Korean American and Zainichi lives, and the institutional barriers and structural obstacles to realizing this vision of a sustained minor transpacific framework of inquiry. Tune in for more!

David S. Roh is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Utah.

Jennifer Gayoung Lee is a writer and data analyst based in New York City.

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