Si Nae Park
Si Nae Park is a scholar of the literature and literary culture of premodern Korea. Her current research interests are the linguistic, inscriptional, and literary ecology of pre-twentieth century Korea, the interplay between Literary Sinitic and vernacular, the role of language ideologies in the production, diffusion, and conceptualization of literature, and the materiality and durability of text.
Her first book, The Korean Vernacular Story: Telling Tales of Contemporary Chosŏn in Sinographic Writing (Columbia University, 2020), introduces the Tongp’ae naksong (Repeatedly Recited Stories of the East, late 18th century) as a collection of tales whose contents and language are remarkably attuned to the present times and whose circulation played a formative role in the spread of a short narrative prose form now called yadam. Illustrating the language of the Tongp’ae naksong as a case of a literary vernacular (Korean vernacular Sinitic) inscribed in sinographic writing, the book intervenes in the common script (han’gŭl)-centered understanding of Korean vernacular literature.
Her recent peer-reviewed journal publications include “The Sound of Learning the Confucian Classics” (Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 79 1/2, 2019), which explains the significance of the Chosŏn state-published vernacularized editions (ŏnhaebon) of the Confucian Classics as a vocalization guide that shaped the sound of Literary Sinitic literacy, and “Romancing Precolonial Korea: The Making of Yadam as Heritage Tales in Early Twentieth Korean Publishing” (East Asian Publishing and Society 11, 2021), which traces the role of early twentieth-century Korean publishing in elevating a repertoire of premodern narrative texts to the status of Korean heritage tales through rhetorical framing and orthographic strategies.
Park’s next book project investigates late-Chosŏn media ecology with a focus on the aurality, vocality, and durability of vernacular novels (ŏnmun sosŏl).