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Nayoung A. Kwon, Associate Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

Nayoung A. Kwon

Nayoung Aimee Kwon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and Program in Cinematic Arts. She is the Founding Director of Duke's Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program and Andrew Mellon Games & Culture Humanities Lab. She also co-directs Duke Engage Koreas, a global service learning program working with refugees and migrants. Her research areas include comparative colonialism, literary criticism and translation studies; film and media studies; postcolonial history and theory; gender and sexuality studies, focusing on global Asia, inter-Asian and transpacific (Asia/Americas) historic and cultural encounters. Her current research examines the contested politics of cultural memories of colonial and cold war conflicts and their legacies in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific.  Select publications include Intimate Empire (Duke University Press 2015, Korean translation from Somyŏng Press, 2020, Japanese translation from Jinbun Shobo 2022), Theorizing Colonial Cinema (Indiana University Press 2021), Antinomies of the Colonial Archive (in collaboration with Takashi Fujitani) and essays in Modern Fiction StudiesJournal of Asian Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Social Text, Sanghŏ Hakpo, Cross-Currents, etc. With collaborators at TNO/University of Netherlands and Duke, she is a developer of hybrid platform infinite strategy games (ISG) about historical conflicts. Her work has been supported by the Fulbright Program, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Japan Foundation, Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies, John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute, among others. She is a translator of literature and manhwa/manga from Korean and Japanese into English and was a poetry editor in New York before entering academia.

Contact Info:
Office Location:  2204 Erwin Road Room 209, Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708
Email Address: send me a message

Office Hours:

Thursday 2:30-4:30

Research Interests:

Nayoung Aimee Kwon is Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Professor of Korean and Japanese Cultural Studies in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Women's Studies and the Program in the Art of the Moving Image. She is currently working on her book manuscript Translating Empire: the Conundrum of Collaboration in Korea and Japan (forthcoming from Duke University Press) which examines the broader problem of colonial modern and postcolonial contestations in East Asia. This issue is examined through interactions of Japanese and Korean writers and translators in the Japanese empire and their controversial postcolonial legacies. Her research and teaching interests include transcultural co-productions (literature, film, theater) between Korea and Japan; Korean and Japanese literary and filmic exchanges; theories of empire, translation, and postcoloniality; globalization and transpacific migrations and cultural flows between Asia and America. She is also a translator of Korean and Japanese literatures into English.

Areas of Interest:

Empire Studies
Korean Literature and Film
Japanese Literature and Film
Postcolonial Studies
Translation Studies
Transpacific Asian/American Studies

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Kwon, NA, Theorizing Colonial Cinema: Reframing Production, Circulation, and Consumption of Film in Asia, edited by Kwon, N (2021), Indiana University Press
  2. Kwon, NA, The Figure of the Translator, in Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean Literature (March, 2020), Routledge, ISBN 1317224132  [abs]
  3. Kwon, NA, The figure of the translator: Kim Saryang between Korean and Japanese literatures, in Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean Literature (January, 2020), pp. 215-224, ISBN 9781138655041 [doi]  [abs]
  4. Kwon, NA, Ch'inmilhan Cheguk (2020), Somyong Press, ISBN 9791159054938 (translated by Kim, J-G; In, A; Chong, K-I.)
  5. Kwon, NA, Spring in the Korean Peninsula (1941): Transcolonial Mise en Abyme, in Rediscovering Korean Cinema (December, 2019), pp. 80-94, ISBN 9780472074297

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