Yu Jin Ko

Yu Jin Ko
(781) 283-2638
English & Creative Writing
B.A., Columbia University; M.A., Cambridge University (Clare College); Ph.D., Yale University

Yu Jin Ko

Professor of English

Shakespearean engaged in bringing theatre and academia into greater dialogue; can also be found at home with kids or on soccer field.

My publications have centered on Shakespeare, with an emphasis on performance. My first book, Mutability and Division on Shakespeare’s Stage, appeared in 2004. I have also co-edited a book collection that brings together essays from scholars and theatre professionals: Shakespeare's Sense of Character: On the Page and From the Stage. My articles and reviews have continued to focus on Shakespeare in performance, both in the theatre and on film. They include pieces an essay on a production of Macbeth by inmates of a correctional institution ("Macbeth Behind Bars") as well as a study of A Midsummer Night's Dream in performance (“Violence and Consensual Imagination in A Midsummer Night’s Dream”). Over the years, however, I have moved into the area of Shakespeare in production across the globe, especially in the East. Some recent essays include: “Intercultural Intermediality: The Unspoken Text in Intercultural Film Adaptations of Shakespeare” and "The site of burial in two Korean Hamlets." In a related vein, I have also been studying the afterlives of Shakespeare's works across the globe. A recent foray into this area is "Youth, Authenticity and Social Change from Shakespeare's Hamlet to Yoon Dong Ju." I am also finishing up a book project titled From the Wooden O to the Yards of Seoul: Shakespeare's Original Stage Conditions and their Afterlives across the Globe. Finally, I have been putting my toes into the realm of translation, with my latest effort being a co-translator for the Korean-American artist Kim Wonsook's In the Garden: Stories of Kim Wonsook's Paintings.

I teach Shakespeare at every level—an introductory survey for non-majors, 200-level required courses for majors, and 300-level seminars on Shakespeare in performance.  I have also taught a MOOC on Shakespeare with the edX consortium called "Shakespeare: On the Page and in Performance." The archived version of the course (still free and open to anyone in the world) can be found through the following link: https://www.edx.org/course/shakespeare-page-performance-wellesleyx-eng112x  Whatever the format or level of the class, I always try to involve some element of performance, whether it be attending a live performance, viewing recordings, or getting students on their feet to perform scenes. It is my belief that to bring Shakespeare's plays fully alive, we must bring literary and theatrical analysis together.  I do teach authors other than Shakespeare, however. I enjoy teaching in particular introductory lecture courses (Studies in Fiction, Writers of Color across the Globe), which allow me and the students to read some wonderful novels for pure pleasure and for insights into cultures around the world.

When I am not enjoying time with my family (wife and two sons), I tend to be engaged in my other passions: watching and playing soccer (in an organized league that's aptly called The New England Over the Hill Soccer League), struggling to learn the music of my youth on guitar, and watching Korean dramas that are equal parts trashy and addictive.