Samstag, 13. Juni 2015, 09:30 - 18:00 iCal

Fiction and poetry vs. reality and truth

Contesting Korean literature’s place within Korean Studies

Seminarraum Koreanologie
Spitalg. 2, Hof 5, 1090 Wien

Seminar, Workshop, Kurs

The promotion of practical knowledge and its utility within area studies programs in the cultivation of “experts” has given literature a rather diminutive standing. At best, literature is seen to mirror or respond to social reality and truth—while its rival mediums, the media, and supra-literary prose forms, are perceived to be much more reliable and concrete. The notion that literature is a window into realities that are inaccessible through other media is not widely acknowledged or embraced. Yet literary writing continues to generate awareness of otherwise unexamined dimensions of reality and the human condition surrounding us.

The underlying premise of our workshop on Korean literature is thus that, while fiction may say much about the realities that make up the purview of other disciplines, most notably sociology and socio-cultural anthropology, it picks up things that they miss. As scholars of Korean fiction, we come together to reflect on developments in modern and contemporary Korea, to reflect on “tales that are telling” and worth retelling.

And on yet another level of analysis, we will attempt to deepen our understanding of how literature imparts a sensibility of observation and self-insight that complements other ways of apprehending the world. The invited speakers will focus on the relationship between (Korean) fiction and (Korean) realities, sharing their very concrete examples with the audience.



Antonetta Bruno (Università di Roma “La Sapienza”)

Anders Karlsson (SOAS, University of London)

Grace Koh (SOAS, University of London)

Miriam Löwensteinová (Charles University Prague)

Ekaterina Pokholkova (State Linguistic University, Moscow)

Andreas Schirmer (Universität Wien)

Jerôme de Wit (Universität Tübingen)


Koreanologie am Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften der Universität Wien


Andreas Schirmer
Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften
4277 43822