Assistant Professor of East Asian Literatures, Convener of Korean
Spring 2023 office hours: Wednesday 8:30-10:30 am
Dennis Wuerthner holds a PhD from Ruhr University Bochum in premodern Korean literature. His main field of research is Korean literature, history and culture in a broader East Asian context. Against a historic and literary-historic backdrop, in his monograph A Study of Hypertexts of Kuunmong, focusing on Kuullu / Kuun’gi (Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang, 2017) he discusses late Chosŏn dynasty parodic writings of the seventeenth century novel Kuunmong (A Dream of Nine Clouds), analysing the cross-border East Asian and inner-Korean diffusion, transformation and creative production of prose works, as well as the substantiation or revision of literary standards in and through parodic fiction. Literature- and knowledge-circulation between China, Korea and Japan likewise plays a vital role in his work on Kŭmo sinhwa (New Tales of the Golden Turtle). Results of his research have coalesced to form an in-depth study on Kŭmo sinhwa, which functions as an introduction preceding his complete and copiously annotated English translation of this early Chosŏn collection of tales by Sŏlcham Kim Sisŭp. It has been published in the AKS/UCLA Korean Classics Library under the title Tales of the Strange by a Korean Confucian Monk: Kŭmo sinhwa by Kim Sisŭp (University of Hawai’i Press, 2020). He also has a keen interest in modern and contemporary Korean literature and culture. For instance, he has written on the Transformations of Korean Classical Literature by Ch’oe Inhun, and worked on Korean Science Fiction and adventure-literature. North Korean treatment of classical Korean literature is another field of research. In his work as a translator, he also strives to cover both premodern and contemporary Korean works. His translations of contemporary authors comprise pieces by Ch’oe Inhun, Kim Hyesoon, or Hwang Jeong Eun. Currently he is in the final stages of an academic translation and study of the Koryŏ dynasty sihwa-collection P’ahan chip (Collection of [Poems and Stories] to destroy Idleness) by Yi Illo within the framework of the AKS Translation of 100 Korean Classics Project. In addition to courses in Korean literature, classical Korean, and classical Chinese, he has taught courses in Korean film, the Korean War, and popular culture, with an emphasis on the legacies of classical Korean literature and culture in the modern age.