Kevin Michael Smith

Kevin Michael Smith earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UC Davis in 2019. His research and publications focus primarily on modernist Korean and Japanese visual arts and literature from the interwar period.


Shuddering Century: Futurist Poetry, Colonial Korea, and Industrial Warfare

This article examines the reception of European futurism in colonial Korea in the early-to- mid-1930s through the writings of Kim Ki-rim and O Chang-hwan, both of whom composed over the course of 1934 long modernist poems engaging with modern warfare and global imperialism—Kim’s “Weather Map” (Kisangdo, p. 1935) and O’s “War” (Chŏnjaeng, 1934, unpublished). My central proposition, based on close readings of these two poems in comparison with works by Italian and Japanese futurists, is that Korea’s unevenly developed colonial location and its experience with the violence of military occupation and with escalating warfare in China indirectly discouraged the celebratory posture adopted by the European futurists towards technology, speed, and mechanized violence.