This episode of the Korea Now podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Daniel Pieper. They speak about James Scarth Gale and the significance of his translation work, the extraordinary upheaval and change that he witnessed as a missionary in late-Choson Korea, how he saw the changing face of Korea and the importance of Korean literature, the accusations that Gale was a pro-Japanese sympathiser during the colonial period, Gale’s view of the existing religious landscape inside Korea, how he balanced a deep affection for Old Korea whilst also seeking to modernise and convert it to Christianity, and how we should understand Gale’s legacy today both inside and outside of Korea.
Daniel Pieper is a Lecturer in Korean Studies at Monash University. He received his PhD in Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia. His current research focuses on the emergence of vernacular Korean as a discrete subject in the modern school, the textual differentiation process of cosmopolitan Hanmun and vernacular Korean, and the role of language ideology in directing language standardization in pre-colonial and colonial-era Korea. His most recent book is titled Redemption and Regret: Modernizing Korea in the Writings of James Scarth Gale and examines themes of vernacularization, linguistic modernity, and literary translation in the missionary’s unpublished writings.