Reviews of Recent Publications in Korean

"Readings from Asia" highlights significant recent scholarship published in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese, in order to bring it to the attention of a wider, international readership. An English summary is provided, along with a link to the original publication. This issue of Cross-Currents features reviews of two recent publications by Korean scholars.

A Genealogical Interrogation of Prussian Neoclassical “Tectonics” in East Asia

Chun Jin-sung 전진성. Sangsang ŭi At'ene, Perŭllin-Tok'yo-Sŏul 상상의 아테네, 베를린-도쿄-서울: 기억과 건축이 빚어낸 불협 화음의 문화사 [Imaginary Athens, Berlin-Tokyo-Seoul]. Seoul: Ch'ŏnnyŏnŭisangsang, 2015. ISBN: 9791185811086.

In this impressively ambitious book, Chun Jin-sung (Chŏn Chinsŏng), the Berlin-educated historian of modern Germany, traces the entangled formation of urban landscapes and architectural landmarks in Berlin, Tokyo, and Seoul. Readers who know Chun primarily through his critically acclaimed work on modern German history may find his inclusion of Japan and Korea as a field of inquiry, as well as his venture into architectural history, rather unexpected. Yet this turn has been long in the making... 

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History Reviving the Erased Voice of the Vanished

Jung Byung-joon. Hyŏn aellisŭ wa kŭ ŭi sidae: Yŏksa e hwipssŭllyŏgan pigŭk ŭi kyŏnggyein 현앨리스와 그의 시대: 역사에 휩쓸려간 비극의 경계인 [Alice Hyun and her days: The tragic marginal one swept away by history]. Seoul: Dolbegae, 2015. ISBN: 978-89-7199-651-5.


Alice Hyun and Her Days is an excellent new work that restores the life and thoughts of a Korean American socialist intellectual and independence activist and her family. It also presents the history of Korean social movements through elaborate historical research and analyses covering an extensive amount of data. The author, Jung Byung-joon, has previously published excellent papers and books on modern Korean history and has received important academic awards for his books.... As with Jung’s other work, this book is a superb academic achievement and an intriguing read that captivates its readers...

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