Poole, Janet

Janet Poole (Ph.D., Columbia University)
Associate Professor
Department of East Asian Studies
Office Location: Robarts Library #14092 (14th Floor)
Office Phone: 416-946-0685
E-mail: janet[dot]poole[at]utoronto[dot]ca

My recent 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 won the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize (2015) and Honorable Mention for the Association of Asian Studies James B. Palais Prize (2016). The book was 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. While working on that project 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 translation of Yi T’aejun’s best short fiction from 1925 through 1950, by which time he had moved to North Korea, will appear in 2018 as Dust and Other Stories (Columbia University Press).

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.

For an interview see http://www.cupblog.org/?p=15445
For a podcast on When the Future Disappears see http://www.koreaandtheworld.org/janet-poole/
For a talk on my work 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:

•“The Remains of Colonial History.” In Clark W. Sorensen and Andrea Gevurtz Arai ed., Spaces of Possibility: In, Between, and Beyond Korea and Japan. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 2016.
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).


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