Bridging the Sound of Korea’s Language and the Letters of China

November 6, 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Center for Korean Studies

Conspicuous in historical accounts of early Choson Korea is the dynasty’s preoccupation with language. The ruling house was obsessively devoted to learning the spoken and written language of China and, at the same time, developing a systematized vernacular alphabet in King Sejong's Hunmin Chongum. The dominant nationalist discourse on “National Language” has treated this as an inherent contradiction impossible to explain.

In this colloquium, Prof. Daham Chong of Sangmyung University will argue that it becomes possible to explain this apparent contradiction only if we stop thinking of “Sinicization” and “Desinicization” in Choson as contradictions and instead de-construct the imaginary discursive demarcation line between them as an “invention of tradition” and start re-thinking of them as inseparably translative faces of a single coin.

Event Sponsor
Center for Korean Studies, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Merclyn Labuguen, (808) 956-7041,,

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