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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

The Black Amerasian Experience in Korea: Representations of Black Amerasians in Korean and Korean American Narratives

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2015, v.55 no.1, pp.7-30
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2015.55.1.7

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Abstract

This essay discusses the literary representations of the black Amerasian experience in Korea. It first studies a late-1920s novella that featured the first black-Korean character and foreshadowed the major issues facing black Amerasians in later Korean and Korean American narratives published from the mid-1950s. By putting Korean-language narratives into direct dialogue with their Anglophone counterparts, this transpacific study argues that the texts in Korean and English are complementary to each other and help piece together the diverse aspects of black Amerasian experience in Korea told from the two perspectives, Korean and Korean American. Both Korean and Korean American narratives portray black Amerasians fundamentally as the unfortunate victims of androcentrism, patriarchy, ethnonationalism, militarism, neo-imperialism, and racism. Yet there is a signal difference between the two literatures: whereas Korean narratives focus on black Amerasians’ discrimination and ostracization by Koreans, Korean American narratives highlight white racism in U.S. military facilities and criticize U.S. legal barriers and immigration policy against (black) Amerasians.

keywords
black Amerasians in Korea literary representations of black Amerasians race in literature comparative Korean (American) literary studies transpacific literary studies

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