Ph.D. Student in East Asian Studies, Literary Translator, and Editor-in-Chief of Nabillera

Curriculum Vitae – Shyun J. Ahn


Hello, my name is Shyun Jeong Ahn (안정수현, 安丁秀賢), of which Jeong is my mother’s last name and my middle name. You can pronounce my name either as “s-hyun”(su-hyun) or “sh-yun”(shawn). Born and grew up in Daegu, South Korea, I am a Korean-American who identify with both sides of this status.

As of Fall 2019, I will be a doctoral student in East Asian Studies at Princeton University. My interest area mainly involves Korean cultural studies, though not limited to the geographical boundary of the Korean peninsula. Specifically, I like to think about a queer analysis of modern Korean intellectual and ideological discourses as well as their literary and cinematic examples. I received my undergraduate education at Tufts University, where I double-majored in Philosophy and International Literary and Visual Studies (comparative literature).

In my free time, I translate Korean poems into English and write short stories. I also run a Korean-English translation magazine Nabillera: Contemporary Korean Literature.


In fall 2019, I will be a Ph.D. student in East Asian Studies at Princeton University. I am especially interested in examining how pre-modern and modern philosophies and political ideologies clashed, interacted, and developed throughout the transitional period of Korea—from the mass influx of foreign influences and the colonial period to the national division. In so doing, I hope to engage in discourses on phenomenons, bodies, and sexualities while also working closely with literary examples and historical investigations.

Prior to this, I spent my undergraduate years at Tufts University, where I double-majored in Philosophy and International Literary and Visual Studies and graduated with Summa Cum Laude. At Tufts, with the guidance of Dr. Lee Edelman and Dr. Charles Inouye, I conducted research on gender and sexuality in colonial Korea and modern North Korea. I largely focused on the queer interpretation of political ideology in each regime and substantiated my claim through literary and cinematic examples. With the summary of the North Korean part of this research, I won a writing competition open for both undergraduate and graduate students and presented it internationally. I have also taken courses and seminars outside the United States in order to enhance my understanding of queer and gender studies and East Asian philosophy.

Other than Korean and English, I am proficient in Japanese, and I conducted research for my undergraduate thesis with all three languages. I have also learned and understand modern Mandarin and Classical Chinese, though on a rudimentary level.


Check the detailed Academics profile here


In December 2014, I began to translate and share Korean poems in English on AhnTranslation. Since then, I have translated for Humans of Seoul (Dec. 2015 – present), ILDA South Korean Feminist Journal (Jan. 2017 – Jan. 2018), and Time to Read Poems, the Documentary (Oct. 2016). My translations of Korean poems have also appeared in different venues, such as a middle school IB textbook and the official use of the Bucheon City of Literature.

In addition, in December 2016, I embarked on a Korean literary magazine project and have been a founder and an Editor-in-Chief of Nabillera: Contemporary Korean Literature since then. Through Nabillera, I hope to introduce novel attempts taking place in the Korean literary circle to English readers.

Check the detailed Translation profile here


You can also reach me at