[CFP] Intersections of Science, Language, and Literature in Modern and Premodern Korea

Very interesting workshop CFP, due July 1, 2016. Submissions will be considered for publication in a 2018 special issue of the Journal of Korean Studies.

Call for Papers for the 2016 Korean Literature Association Workshop

Intersections of Science, Language, and Literature in Modern and Premodern Korea

Stanford University, Nov. 4-5, 2016

Science and literature studies have constituted an exciting arena for academic investigation in recent decades. The strengths of science and literature studies include their challenge to a science/humanities dichotomy fortified by specialization in academic disciplines, their inquiry into the relationship between language and knowledge, and a questioning of the gap between values and facts. Such dynamic approaches are reflected in scholarship on the history of science in East Asia. Publications such as Benjamin Elman’s A Cultural History of Modern Science in China (2009), Hiromi Mizuno’s Science for the Empire (2009), Aaron Moore’s Constructing East Asia: Technology, Ideology, and Empire in Japan’s Wartime Era, 1931-45 (2013), and John DiMoia’s Reconstructing Bodies: Biomedicine, Health and Nation-Building in South Korea Since 1945 (2013), have taken a historical approach to science, tracing the emergence of scientific discourses and their intersection with modernity and nation-building. More recently, three substantial volumes titled Munhak kwa kwahak (Literature and Science, 2013-2015) have pointed to the subtle ways that scientific discourse has shaped some of the most important literary and philosophical debates. Alongside Chris Hanscom’s “Matters of Fact: Language, Science, and the Status of Truth in Late Colonial Korea” (2013) and Travis Workman’s, Imperial Genus: The Formation and Limits of the Human in Modern Korea and Japan (2015), these recent publications demonstrate how Korea’s intellectuals in the modern era were working within a regime of discourses shaped as much by the language of science as they were by the evolving literary language itself.

Taking its cue from this growing body of scholarship, this workshop proposes to examine the intersection of science, language, and literature and expand this inquiry across periods, disciplines, and media, examining representations of science and scientific data in materials including but not limited to premodern archival materials, science textbooks, literature, popular science journals, general interest periodicals, and science fiction. One of our main goals is to think about the way texts and images in various genres have contended with science, and also about the ways that science relies on the medium of textual and visual narrative in a way that works to guide and shape the very projects it proposes to describe. The workshop will aim not only to expose the ways that science has been mobilized for various ideological projects and to serve different interests, but also to explore the ways in which the study of science and literature might produce insights that anticipate contemporary debates about the sciences and humanities.

Papers can include, but are not limited to,

  • Science fiction in colonial and postcolonial Korea
  • The intersection of scientific and philosophical discourse
  • Poetry and science
  • Popular science in North and South Korea
  • Science education
  • The politics of science
  • Literature and the scientific worldview
  • Science and literary genre
  • Science and language
  • Science and national literature
  • Science and literary modernity
  • Literature and technology
  • Literature, science, and representations of everyday life
  • Science, literature, and the posthuman turn
  • Science and popular culture
  • The science of the subject (psychology/psychoanalysis)
  • Social science and the role of literature in North and South Korea

All papers will be considered for publication in a 2018 special issue of the Journal of Korean Studies dedicated to science and literature that will be edited by Chris Hanscom and Dafna Zur.  Please submit a 250-300 word abstract and brief bio to Dafna Zur (dafnaz@stanford.edu) by July 1, 2016. Applicants will be informed of their participation by July 31, 2016.