Debate upon the status of colonial buildings in South Korea today has swirled around the public buildings most symbolic of colonial authority. Yet the most prevalent remaining buildings are much smaller in scale; they are the houses abandoned by or appropriated from Japanese residents upon the defeat in war and a chaotic withdrawal from the colonies. This talk turns to the “enemy house” to ask how the homely figures in the domestication of colonial history.
Janet Poole is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research focuses on the relationship between aesthetics and formations of colonialism and postcolonial national division, explored through literature, art and material culture, on theories of translation and literary translation. She is the author of When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea (forthcoming on Columbia University Press) and translator of a collection of anecdotal essays published during the Pacific War by Yi T'aejun, Eastern Sentiments (Columbia University Press, paperback edition, 2013). She is currently exploring the remains of colonial history through a study of Japanese-style houses on the Korean peninsula. Professor Poole received her BA from the University of London, her MA from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, and her PhD from Columbia University.