Under the strict anticommunist South Korean government, proletarian literature—namely works by the Korean Artists Proletarian Federation (KAPF) writers—had been banned and censored from the public until the late 1980s. Although the proletarian writers were one of the largest and most influential literary groups during the colonial period, because many went north and settled in what is today the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), nearly every one of their works were relegated to oblivion in Korean studies for decades. With the democratization movement in the late 1980s, Korean literary scholars were able to conduct research in a field that had long been seen as incompatible to the anticommunist ideology of the South Korean government. However, the lack of translation has limited scholars in English-speaking academic institutions from teaching this material, until the publication of...

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