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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Comparative Literature

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Moira Inghilleri

Second Advisor

James Hicks

Third Advisor

Chan Young Park

Fourth Advisor

Michael Pettid

Subject Categories

Korean Studies | Translation Studies


This dissertation presents an overview of interpreting during the Korean War by examining shifts in the positionality of interpreters during the preparatory, engagement, and conclusionary stages of the conflict. Here, the preparatory stage refers to the U.S. military occupation of south Korea (1945-1948), the engagement stage refers to period of active military engagement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its allies against the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Command (1950-1953), while the conclusionary stage refers to the Korean Armistice Negotiations (1951-1953). Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s field theory and Moira Inghilleri’s (2005a) influential argument that interpreting takes place in a “zone of uncertainty,” this dissertation explores how new interpreting habitus emerged as the communicational purposes and power dynamics within the military field were oriented, disoriented, and reoriented with the progression of the conflict. The variation in who was allowed to act as an interpreter, the tasks interpreters were assigned, and the norms that dictated how interpreters should act and react during interpreted events indicates a need to reconsider traditional notions of interpreting.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.