Heekyoung Cho Publishes ‘Translation’s Forgotten History’

Heekyoung ChoHeekyoung Cho (Asian Languages & Literature) has published a new book, Translation’s Forgotten History: Russian Literature, Japanese Mediation, and the Formation of Modern Korean Literature (2016) with Harvard University Press.

From the publisher:

Translation’s Forgotten History investigates the meanings and functions that translation generated for modern national literatures during their formative period and reconsiders literature as part of a dynamic translational process of negotiating foreign values. By examining the triadic literary and cultural relations among Russia, Japan, and colonial Korea and revealing a shared sensibility and literary experience in East Asia … this book highlights translation as a radical and ineradicable part—not merely a catalyst or complement—of the formation of modern national literature. Translation’s Forgotten History thus rethinks the way modern literature developed in Korea and East Asia. While national canons are founded on amnesia regarding their process of formation, framing literature from the beginning as a process rather than an entity allows a more complex and accurate understanding of national literature formation in East Asia and may also provide a model for world literature today.

Heekyoung has been heavily involved in translation activity at the UW. With Cynthia Steele (Comparative Literature, Cinema & Media) and Vicente Rafael (History), she co-led the Simpson Center crossdisciplinary research cluster Troubling Translations this year, organizing talks by several renowned scholars of translation. She also taught, with Rafael, the spring 2016 microseminar “Troubling Translations: Language, Literature, Politics, and the Market.”

The book was supported by a 2013-14 Society of Scholars fellowship at the Simpson Center, along with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies.

UW News also covered the new book in a story by Peter Kelley.

Congratulations, Heekyoung!

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