Jang Wook Huh - The Harlem Renaissance in Korea


Sep. 28, 2023, 4pm to 6pm

Office/Remote Location

Beverly Rogers Literature and Law Building (RLL), Room 101


In the 1930s, the Harlem Renaissance extended beyond New York to cities like Paris, Moscow, and even Chongjin. Langston Hughes, a prominent figure of the New Negro Renaissance, traveled to the port city of Chongjin in present-day North Korea during the peak of Japanese imperialism. Japanese police followed Hughes during this trip, which made him realize that the status of colonized Koreans under Japanese surveillance shared many similarities with his experience as a Black person in the United States.

Based on this incident, Hughes compared the racialization of Koreans under Japanese rule to the discrimination against African Americans under Jim Crow laws. Hughes’s writings on antiracism inspired Koreans who were struggling against the Japanese occupation. In particular, Korean writers in the United States and Korea published essays on the New Negro Movement, including Hughes’s poetry, to express their liberatory visions and imagine a better future. Ironically, Japan was a significant source for Koreans to translate and distribute literature on Black radicalism. This talk explores the interconnected knowledge production of African Americans, Koreans, and the Japanese, inviting you to consider the inspiration and legacy of the Harlem Renaissance in a transpacific context.



Admission Information

Open to UNLV students, staff, faculty, and the general public.

Contact Information

College of Liberal Arts' Dean's Office