The Future of #MeToo in Asia: A conversation with Youngmi Choi

Chair: Dr Jay Song 

(Sponsored by the Korea Foundation) 

In this special roundtable, we invite Ms Youngmi Choi, a prominent feminist poet and leading figure in Korean literature, to hear about her work as well as her fight against sexism in South Korea. Ms Choi’s first collection of poems published in 1994 instantly became a bestseller in Korea. Her own background as a student activist against military dictatorship in the 1980s sheds light on contemporary South Korean politics and society. Join Jay Song, Senior Lecturer and Convenor of Korean Studies at the Asia Institute of the University of Melbourne, in conversation with Youngmi to learn about her poetry, revelations of sexual harassment and what it means for the MeToo movement in Korea and Asia.

Youngmi Choi is a poet and novelist from Seoul, Korea. Her poem, Monster (괴물), ignited the #MeToo movement in Korea in 2018. Youngmi holds a BA in Western History from Seoul National University and an MA in Art History from Hong-ik University. Faced with the military dictatorship of 1980s, she joined student protest demanding for democracy. As a result, she was detained and suspended from university. Her first volume of poems At Thirty, the Party was Over (1994) was recognised for her delicate but bold expressions and piercing satire on the capital and authority. She has published six poetry collections (Treading on the Pedals of Dream, To the Pigs, Life that has yet to Arrive, Things Already Hot, and What will not come again) and penned two novels (Scars and Patterns, and The Garden of Bronze). Youngmi has received the 2006 Isu Literary Award and the 2018 Sex Equality Award.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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