As the Coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic con­tin­ues to rav­age pop­u­la­tions world­wide — I write these words in Novem­ber 2021 — the DPRK (North Korea) con­tin­ues to insist that it has suc­cess­ful­ly main­tained Covid Zero. As reports from Dai­ly NK and oth­er organisations …

Plagues & Peo­ples in Korea Read more »

In April I had the plea­sure of attend­ing the New­ing­ton Col­lege Fes­ti­val of Lit­er­a­ture for 2021. It was my first fes­ti­val appear­ance since the eas­ing of Covid restric­tions in Syd­ney and a glo­ri­ous way to cel­e­brate the return of something …

New­ing­ton Col­lege Fes­ti­val of Lit­er­a­ture for 2021 Read more »

The fol­low­ing speech was deliv­ered online in Eng­lish and Kore­an on the 5th of Decem­ber 2020. The event was enti­tled: ‘Build­ing Up Cross-Cul­­tur­al Under­stand­ing Through Chil­dren’s Lit­er­a­ture Between Aus­tralia and Korea: 2020’, con­vened by Dr Hyung-joo Judy Park. Dr Park …

The Book of Beasts: Ani­mal & Human Nature in Children’s Lit­er­a­ture Read more »

Last week I had the plea­sure of answer­ing a short Q&A for Eliz­a­beth Shim about North Kore­an chil­dren’s cul­ture in the Kim Jong Un era, along­side Mar­tin Petersen from the Nation­al Muse­um of Den­mark. As usu­al, my enthu­si­asm ran over …

Some Ques­tions About North Kore­an Children’s Cul­ture in the KJU Era Read more »

In a spe­cial two-part work­shop at San­ta Sabi­na in mid-2017, I had the hon­our of work­ing with an incred­i­ble cohort of Year 10 Eng­lish stu­dents. To begin, I deliv­ered a one hour lec­ture that offered a brief overview of the …

Dystopi­an Fic­tion at San­ta Sabi­na Col­lege 2017 Read more »

Writ­ing in the The New York Times, for­mer North Kore­an counter-intel­li­­gence offi­cer and poet Jang Jin-sung observed that his deci­sion to flee the DPRK was pre­cip­i­tat­ed by a real­iza­tion “that there are two North Kore­as: one real and the oth­er a …

Book Review: San­dra Fahy’s March­ing Through Suf­fer­ing: Loss & Sur­vival in North Korea Read more »

Over at Sino-NK, you can now find the con­clud­ing install­ment of my two-part series, explor­ing the child­hood hagiogra­phies of the North Kore­an lead­ers. Last time, I con­sid­ered the ear­ly life of Kim Jong Il, the “heav­en-sent” boy des­tined to become …

Hagiog­ra­phy of the Kims & the Child­hood of Saints: Kim Il Sung Read more »