Poole, Janet

Janet Poole (Ph.D., Columbia University)
Associate Professor & Graduate Coordinator
Department of East Asian Studies
Office Phone: 416-946-5105
Office Location: Robarts Library #14097 (14th Floor)
E-mail: janet.poole@utoronto.ca

My latest book, When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea, writes the creative works of Korea’s writers into the history of global modernism, and colonialism into the history of fascism, through an exploration of the writings of poets, essay writers, fiction writers and philosophers from the final years of the Japanese empire. It is the result of a decade spent thinking about the possibilities of art under the harshest of political regimes, the shaping power of colonial fascism and the sophisticated responses that emerged from its midst. To help me think through this I translated a collection of anecdotal essays published during the Pacific War by colonial Korea’s most famous antiquarian Yi T’aejun. Eastern Sentiments (Columbia University Press, paperback edition, 2013) offers a quirky take on everyday life in 1930s Korea: wistful, nostalgic and violently colonial.

My research and teaching interests lie in aesthetics in the broad context of colonialism and modernity, in history and theories of translation, and in the creative practice of literary translation. Currently I am working on several projects: an exploration of the remains of colonial history through a study of Japanese-style houses on the Korean peninsula; a collection of essays on the social life of early twentieth-century photography; and a translation of Yi T’aejun’s short stories, which includes his later works from the early years of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

For an interview see http://www.cupblog.org/?p=15445
For a talk on my new book see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5JarX9sYY0

Academic Background:

• Ph.D. East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
• M.A. Korean Literature, University of Hawai’i at Manoa
• B.A. (Honours) Japanese and Korean, University of London

Major Publications:

When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014.
• Yi T’aejun, Eastern Sentiments. Translated with an introduction by Janet Poole. New York: Columbia University Press, 2013 (paperback edition).


• Modern Ruins
• Translation and Modernity
• The Global Bildungsroman: Narratives of Development, Time and Colonialism
• Aesthetics and Politics in 20th Century Korea
• Modernism and Colonial Korea