MHH

Research

Han is fascinated by postcolonial, transnational poetry written by women. Her research is one of the first critical contributions to analyze poetry by Korean-American authors from three different generations through a postcolonial perspective.

At the University of Surrey, she is critically and creatively examining transnationalism, trauma, and identity and how these concepts are reflected in fragmented form and multilingual poetry. She is focusing on the works of several Korean-American authors while writing her own collection of poetry based on her experiences as a postcolonial, transnational poet.

In her work, her exploration of identity, belonging, and culture are represented through the use of fragmented form and inclusion of multiple languages. She often utilizes 한글 (Hangul - Korean writing system), which explores the boundaries of multilingual poetry. Han showcases her concerns with her Korean heritage, travel, growing up in different cultures, and becoming an adult, all across the span of several geographical locations including Tanzania, Korea, and the U.S. by utilizing formally inventive techniques such as narrative poems, prose, erasure, and others.

Excerpt of a poem with a title that reads "My PhD Project as a Poem: An Abecedarian in English and in Hangul" with some letters replaced with hangul characters.
Winner of Project as a Poem competition

The critical investigation of Han’s work dives into 1) the themes of trauma, identity, and belonging, 2) the fragmentation of poetic form, and 3) the use of multiple languages. She believes that biographical aspects of the authors’ lives, including hers, are interconnected with the topics and subjects of their poetry and are reflected in their work through fragmented form and inclusion of other languages, primarily Korean.

By thinking through the concept of postcolonial transnationalism as defined by Bahri, Ramazani, and others, this research brings out the importance of poetry in the context of our current society, where there is necessary and urgent need to focus on the voices and experiences of transnational writers, especially women and those who are considered “outsiders.”

Conferences