Skip to main content


(For a panel)

With the support of Presidential Semester and Summer Awards, I was fortunate enough to conduct my research on Korean traditional puppet theatre (aka “deolmi” or “kkokdugeuk”), which is the only full-length traditional puppet theatre in Korea and is designated as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Part of my project is to translate the performance script of Seoul Namsadang’s full performance (the most authentic performance that is led by Korean “human cultural asset,” Master Park Yong-Tae) into English.

I am proposing to share my research at the 2016 UNG Symposium on Innovation, Research, and Engagement (SOIRE), by illustrating the implications of my research according to Ernest L. Boyer’s model of scholarship. Discussing Korean traditional puppet theatre as a form of oral indigenous memory as well as written and embodied drama in Korean and English translations, I will discuss how my current project demonstrates 1) original research in the field, 2) synthesis of cross-disciplinary research, 3) its application in reciprocal relationships with communities, and 4) its application for teaching.

Specifically, I will discuss my current translation project in the context of previous English translations and will illuminate the project’s implications in the fields of world theatre, world literature, and translation studies. I will also share specific theoretical and critical issues that arise in my translation project, providing some examples and exploring possible solutions. Some of these questions include: How should one translate puns, word play, and rhymes in the Korean traditional puppet play into contemporary English? How should one translate songs in the Korean traditional puppet play, making them singable in English? In other words, how should one translate musicality from Joseon Korean to contemporary English? Further, how could one ensure the performability of the English translation of the Korean traditional puppet play? How should one translate the Korean traditional puppet play in such a way as to bring newness or “foreignness” to English-speaking readers/audiences?


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • English

  • Event date
    • 11 November 2016

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Keywords
  • Additional information
    • Author Biography:

      Kyounghye Kwon is an assistant professor in the English department at the University of North Georgia. She received her doctoral degree in English and her certificate in Theatre and Performance from The Ohio State University. Her teaching and research areas include world literature/film, postcolonial studies, Asian/Asian American studies, gender studies, and performance studies. Her current research (with the support of UNG Presidential Semester and Summer Awards) focuses on how Korean traditional puppet theatre preserves, alters, and adapts Korea's pre-colonial/indigenous memory in its performance repertoires for contemporary audiences, with particular attention to indigenous memory, gender, and the changing nature of the audience. She is co-editor of Compact Anthology of World Literature (UNGP, 2015), an open access textbook funded by a Complete College Georgia Grant. Her essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in Asian Theatre Journal, Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, Pinter Et Cetera, and Text & Presentation.