Esther Kim

Walker 309
Cohort Year: 2022
Research Interests: North African & Maghrebi Literature; Francophone Literature; Contemporary Korean literatures; Multilingualism; Diasporic Literature; Translation theory; Postcolonial theory; Trauma Theory; Indigeneity
Education: B.A. in Comparative Literature, French & Francophone Studies, and Political Science, Bryn Mawr College, 2022

Esther is a joint Ph.D student in the Department of Comparative Literature and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures (French & Francophone Studies). Before coming to the University of Chicago, Esther grew up in Tunisia and received her B.A in Comparative Literature, French & Francophone Studies, and Political Science from Bryn Mawr College. She works across French, Modern Standard Arabic, Tunisian darija, and Korean, with an interest in multilingualism, postcolonialism, diaspora, translation, and trauma. 

Esther is particularly interested in the cultural and linguistic parallels between the Maghreb/North Africa and South Korea. In her research, she explores texts that illuminate multilingual realities through translation as a creative act that bridges differences and opens up a space for dialogue with the unspeakable and unknown. Through her work, Esther aims to shed light on how multilingual contexts shape identity, memory, and cultural expression, by examining how languages intersect, reclaim, and interact in literature.