"The Nomad of the Naked Body": The Trans-corporeal Ecopoetics of Sunwoo Kim

Won-Chung Kim

DOI: https://test.crossref.org/10.13185/KK2022.003818
Published Date: Feb 28, 2022

Abstract

The material turn in the environmental humanities drastically changes our perception of who we are and challenges our attitude toward nature. In this article, the author argues that there is a critical connection between the works of Sunwoo Kim, one of the most prominent ecofeminist poets of Korea, and the trans-corporeal poetics of new materialist feminism. By resuscitating “dead” nature and recognizing the agency of things in the world, Sunwoo Kim deconstructs humanity’s prestigious position of all-powerful subjects and repositions them as equal actors with other nonhuman beings. Trans-corporeal poetics allows her to combine the two most conspicuous trends of her poetry: her feminist poetics and her ecological poetics. Owing to her new recognition of our essential corporeality, Kim rescues the female body from the patriarchal society’s debasement and brings it back to its original status. The meaning of her trans-corporeal body is most apparent in her poems on eating, since eating shares matter across corporeal boundaries. Because foodways are a major contributor toward climate change, Kim’s articulation of the trans-corporeal nature of food and her insistence on the mindful eating deserves our full attention, if we are to halt our mad rush into ecological disaster.

Keywords

climate change, ecofeministic poetics, food, Sunwoo Kim, transcorporeality

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Kritika Kultura
Department of English
School of Humanities
Ateneo de Manila University

The Philippine Commission on Higher Education (CHED) declares Kritika Kultura as a CHED-recognized journal under the Journal Challenge Category of its Journal Incentive Program.

International Board of Editors

Jan Baetens
Professor
Faculty of Arts
Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven (Belgium)

Joel David
Professor of Cultural Studies
Inha University (South Korea)

Michael Denning
Professor of American Studies and English
Department of English
Yale University (US)

Faruk
Faculty of Cultural Sciences
Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indonesia)

Regenia Gagnier
Professor of English
University of Exeter (UK)

Leela Gandhi
John Hawkes Professor of the Humanities and English
Brown University (US)

Inderpal Grewal
Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies
Professor of South Asian Studies, Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies
Yale University (US)

Peter Horn
Professor Emeritus and Honorary Lifetime Fellow
University of Cape Town (South Africa)
Honorary Professor and Research Associate in German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

Anette Horn
Professor of German Studies
University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa)

David Lloyd
Distinguished Professor of English
University of California, Riverside (US)

Bienvenido Lumbera
National Artist for Literature
Professor Emeritus
University of the Philippines

Rajeev S. Patke
Director of the Division of Humanities
Professor of Humanities
Yale NUS College (Singapore)

Vicente L. Rafael
Giovanni and Amne Costigan Endowed Professor of History
University of Washington (US)

Vaidehi Ramanathan
Department of Linguistics
University of California, Davis (US)

Temario Rivera
Professorial Lecturer
Department of Political Science
University of the Philippines

E. San Juan, Jr.
Philippines Studies Center (US)

Neferti X.M. Tadiar
Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Barnard College (US)
Director of the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race
Columbia University (US)

Antony Tatlow
Honorary Professor of Drama
Trinity College Dublin (Ireland)