On September 7, 2018, at Doheney Library University of Southern California, Kaya Press held a symposium entitled “Migrant Voices Between Korea and China: Politics, Literature and Translation in Kim San’s Song or Arirang and Cheon Unyeong’s Farewell, Circus”. The symposium is an inaugural pre-launched event of The Magpie Series, at which Kaya Press collaborated with Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Department of History, East Asian Studies Center, Korean Heritage Library, Korean Humanities Group, and Korean Studies Institute, andDaeson Foundation in Korea. Sunyoung Lee, Kaya Press’ chief editor and Profesor at USC, opened the symposium by describing how the Magpie series got started.
Kyung Moon Hwang, a professor of Korean history at USC, moderated the first panel entitled “A Transnational Revolutionary in Colonial Korea and His Literary Afterlife.” This panel invited Professor Dongyoun Hwang of Soka Univerity of America to speak about the events of Kim San’s life, including the shifts in his ideology from anarchism to Marxist communism, and his shifts between nationalism and transnationalism. Following Professor Dongyoun Hwang, USC graduate student Hayun Cho read her translated version of Kim San’s poem, “Mourning Comrade Han Hae”, eulogizing a fallen comrade, and Professor Namhee Lee (UCLA, History) responded by narrating about the end of Kim San’s life.
The second half of the event is an exciting discussion of Un-yeong Cheon’s novel Farewell Circus in the “Intersectional Identities in Contemporary Reverse Migration” panel. Professor Jinim Park (Amreican Studies, Pyeong-taik University) discussed the impact of the novel and how it played a role in the rising tide of feminism in South Korea, as well as the experiences of the “Joseonjok” Koreans in China. The author, Un-yeong Cheon, then was invited to read an excerpt from the novel in Korean. Finally, the symposium is concluded by having Professor Melissa Chan (USC, EALC) to respond to the wider themes that the title “Farewell, Circus” describes.
Kaya Press is excited to see the audience’s enthusiasm for this event. Pre-order The Magpie Series now and get limited edition Kaya Press postcards and stickers: