Since the early 1950s, more than 200,000 Korean children have been sent from South Korea to North America and Europe to be adopted into previously all-white families. More than 110,000 were adopted into the United States and Canada. Representations of these transnationally and transracially adopted Koreans have appeared in over fifty American children’s books since 1955. What kinds of stories do they tell? How are librarians and educators to evaluate these books? And what do Korean adoptees think of these depictions? In this keynote, Dr. Park will share her analyses regarding the content and context of children’s literature depicting transracially adopted Koreans.
While the Nancy Drew series is most often associated with North America, the mysteries are also a global phenomenon. Since the inception of the original series in the 1930s, the books have been translated into numerous languages and sold or marketed across the globe. In addition, the character Nancy Drew regularly travels across national borders to solve mysteries. The Nancy Drew materials demonstrate how fictional representations of “strange” places and contact with “strangers” remain central to texts produced for and marketed to young readers within contemporary North American children’s culture.
Dr. Sarah Park is an assistant professor of Library and Information Science at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her research interests include representations of the Korean diaspora in children’s and young adult literature, youth services librarianship, social justice, transracial
adoption, and Korean diasporic history. She teaches courses on children’s and young adult literature, social justice, web design, and library and information science. Her book, Diversity in Youth Literature, edited with Jamie Naidoo, is set to be released this summer by ALA Editions.
The Keynote Address she’ll be presenting at Stranger in a Strange Land is entitled Storying Adoption.
More information on Dr. Park can be found on her website.
Elizabeth Marshall is associate professor in the faculty of education at Simon Fraser University, where she teaches courses in children’s and young adult literature. She is co-editor of Rethinking Popular Culture and Media, and has published articles on the representation of North American girlhoods in children’s literature, popular culture, and women’s memoir. Dr. Marshall’s work has been published in Harvard Educational Review, Gender and Education, Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, College English, Children’s Literature Quarterly, and Rethinking Schools.