CKS Symposium: A Universal Voice, An Intimate Conversation with Kyung-sook Shin

Kyung-sook Shin: A Universal Voice, An Intimate Conversation

Korean Literature on the Global Stage

October 24, 2014
DATES October 24, 2014
LOCATION Toll Room, Alumni House, UC Berkeley
SPONSOR/S Center for Korean Studies, Institute of East Asian Studies

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Poster | Program


Please join us Friday, October 24th for the Bay Area debut of award-winning author, Kyung‑sook Shin. Globally renowned author of 19 works, including the international best-seller, Please Look After Mom, she is the first woman to receive the Man Asian Literary Prize. Don't miss this opportunity for a one-on-one interview, a Q&A session, and book signing.

Books Available for Signing:

Please Look After Mom has been translated into more than thirty languages. It is Shin's first book to appear in English and it has been met with critical acclaim, selling over 2 million copies worldwide. Shin became the first Korean and first woman to receive the Man Asian Literary Prize for the English translation of Please Look After Mom in 2011.

I'll Be Right There has been published in a number of countries, including the U.S., Spain, China, Poland, Italy, and Norway. The English edition was published in June 2014. It has received rave reviews by media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Guardian, Kirkus Reviews, and Publishers Weekly. It was included in the list of "30 Books You Need To Read in 2014" by the Huffington Post. It was also named as "the best foreign literature in the 21st Century" in China and "the best book of winter 2012" in Poland.


2:00-2:10 Opening Remarks
Laura Nelson (Chair, Center for Korean Studies)
Youngmin Kwon (Visiting Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures)

2:10-3:00 Keynote Address
"On Modern and Contemporary Korean Fiction"
Christopher P. Hanscom (Professor of Korean Literature, UCLA)

3:00-4:45 Panel on Korean Literature, Translation, and Publication

Daniel O'Neill (Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature, UC Berkeley)

"Publication of Korean Literature in Translation in the Post-Please Look After Mom Era"
Bruce Fulton (Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature, University of British Columbia)

"Food for Memory"
Jiwon Shin (Professor of Korean Literature, Arizona State University)

"A Quiet Voice Striving to Be Heard"
Ha-yun Jung (Professor, Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, Ewha Womans University)

"The Familiar in the Unfamiliar"
Marcella Marini (Acquisitions Editor, Sellerio Editore)

4:45 Coffee Break

5:00-6:00 A Dialogue with Kyung-sook Shin

Kyung-sook Shin (Writer)
Laura Nelson (Chair, Center for Korean Studies)
Interpretion: Jiwon Shin (Professor of Korean Literature, Arizona State University)

6:00-7:30 Reception and Book Signing


Kyung-sook Shin started her writing career at age 22 with her first novella, Winter Fables. Almost thirty years and seven novels later, she is now one of South Korea's most widely read and acclaimed novelists. Her novels include, Deep Sorrow, A Lone Room, The Train Departs at 7, Violet, Lee Jin, Please Look After Mom and I'll Be Right There. She's also published nine short story collections and three collections of essays.

Shin's writing is characterized by a profound point of view focusing on the human mind, a resonating and colorful approach using symbolism and metaphor, and an expressive and heartfelt narrative style. Setting social changes and political situations as the backdrops of her works, Shin looks inward at her characters' psychological wounds and the difficulty in reconciling their present and future.

She has been honored with numerous awards and prizes, including the Munye Joongang New Author Prize, the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Manhae Prize, the Dong-in Literary Award, the Yi Sang Literary Prize, and France's Prix de l'Inaperçu in 2009 for the French translation of her work, A Lone Room (La Chambre Solitaire). She has also received the Ho-Am Prize in the Arts, awarded for her body of work for general achievement in Korean culture and the arts.

Kyung-sook Shin graduated from Seoul Institute of the Arts. In 2011, she was a visiting scholar at Columbia University. In addition to being an author, she is now a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF. Since her international success with Please Look After Mom, Shin has been participating in many international events for writers as a speaker.

Laura C. Nelson is Associate Professor of Gender and Women's Studies at UC Berkeley. Her current research project is a study of breast cancer as a medical, cultural, personal, environmental, political and transnational phenomenon in South Korea.

Youngmin Kwon is currently Visiting Professor of Korean Literature in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at UC Berkeley. He is an Emeritus Professor of Seoul National University and Chair Professor of Korean Literature at Dankook University.

Christopher P. Hanscom is an associate professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA, and teaches courses on Korean literature and film. His current research interests include the relationship between social and aesthetic forms, comparative colonialism, and concepts of race and culture under Japanese empire.

Associate Professor D. Cuong O'Neill teaches courses in Meiji print culture and literature, Taishô aesthetics, and postwar intellectual history and popular culture. His research interests include the novel in comparative perspective, global modernisms, and critical theory.

Bruce Fulton is the inaugural holder of the Young-Bin Min Chair in Korean Literature and Literary Translation, Department of Asian Studies, University of British Columbia. He is the co-translator, with Ju-Chan Fulton, of numerous works of modern Korean fiction.

Jiwon Shin is an assistant professor in the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University. Her research covers various topics on media and memory in premodern and modern Korean literature and cultural history.

Ha-yun Jung is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, the New York Times, Best New American Voices 2001 and other publications. She is on the faculty of Ewha Womans University's Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation in Seoul, Korea.

Marcella Marini is an acquisitions editor at Sellerio Editore for foreign fiction since 2011 after eleven years as foreign fiction editor and rights manager at Neri Pozza Editore in Milano.


Alumni House is located on the south side of the UC Berkeley Campus; east of the Haas Pavilion, north of Zellerbach Hall, and southwest of Dwinelle Hall. The nearest off-campus intersection is Bancroft Way and Dana, which is just downhill from the intersection of Telegraph Ave and Bancroft Way.

From Downtown Berkeley BART:

Exit Bart Station onto Shattuck Ave.
Walk south on Shattuck three blocks to Bancroft Way.
Turn left on Bancroft and go up the hill along the south edge of campus—passing by the following streets on the right: Fulton and Ellsworth.
Arrive at Bancroft and Dana St and turn left onto the campus.
You'll see Haas Pavilion (basketball) on your left.
Alumni House is across from Haas Pavilion.

Detailed directions, including driving directions, can be found at the Alumni House page.

Parking can be hard to find on campus. With no free parking on campus and limited street parking available, using public transportation and campus shuttles are great alternatives to driving.

Closest parking to Alumni House:
RSF Garage
Telegraph Channing Garage
UC Berkeley parking
Off-campus parking