Deberniere Janet Torrey portrait
  • Assistant Professor, World Languages and Cultures

Research Keywords

  • Korea, Catholicism, Intellectual History


  • "The Origins of Christianity in Korea: Catholics Diverging from Confucian Tradition." Florida International University. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/2017.
  • “The Subjectivity of Joseon Women in the Conflict between Confucianism and Catholicism.” International symposium on “Colonialism and the Change of Local Communities in Modern East Asia,” Jeonju University, South Korea. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2016.
  • Guest Lecture on early Catholics in the Jeonju region. Colloquium on “Catholic History and the Local Community in the Jeolla Provinces,” Jeonju University, South Korea. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2015.
  • “The Evolution of the Yesuwon Community and its Role for the Korean Church.” American Academy of Religion Annual Meeting, Baltimore, November 2013. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 11/2013.
  • “Catholic Didactic Poems in Nineteenth Century Korea.” Conference on “Integration processes in the circulation of knowledge: Cases from Korea and beyond,” University of Bochum, Germany Global Impact (Republic of Korea). Interdisciplinary. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 06/2013.
  • Public lecture: “A Martyr’s Grievance: Flesh as Burden in the Prison Letters of Lutgarde Yi Suni (1782-1801),” UC Berkeley Center for Korean Studies, Nov., 2012. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/2012.
  • “Transcending Nature and Tradition at a Price: The Female in Early Korean Catholic Texts.” The 21st Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, Jungang University, Seoul, Korea. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 08/2010.
  • “The Silk Letter Incident: Separated by Transcendence.” Biennial Boston College Conference on the History of Religion, Boston College. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 03/2010.
  • “Hwang Sayeong, Global Subject in the Hermit Kingdom.” New York Conference of Asian Studies, Hamilton College. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 09/2008.
  • “Modern Confucianism in the Poetry of Tasan.” American Comparative Literature Association Annual Convention, Princeton University. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 03/2006.


  • "Between Heroism and Despair: Opportunities and Barriers for Women in the Early Korean Catholic Church." Asian Journal of Women's Studies 23:4 (December, 2017): 421-441. Published, 11/2017.
  • "Young Barbara's Devotion and Death: Reading Father Ch'oe's Field Report of 1850." Korean Studies, forthcoming. Accepted, 10/31/2017.
  • (book review) Building a Heaven on Earth: Religion, Activism, and Protest in Japanese Occupied Korea. By Albert L. Park. Journal of Asian Studies 76.4 (November, 2017). Accepted, 06/02/2017.
  • "Transcendence and Anxiety in the Prison Letters of Catholic Martyr Ludgarda Yi Suni (1779-1802)." Journal of Religion and Literature 47.3 (2016): 25-55. Published, 10/2016.
  • (book review) The Making of Korean Christianity: Protestant Encounters with Korean Religions, 1876–1915 by Sung-Deuk Oak. Journal of Korean Religions 5:1 (2014), 136-139. Published, 04/2014.
  • (book reveiw) A Faith of Our Own: Second-Generation Spirituality in Korean American Churches by Sharon Kim. Religious Studies Review 40:1 (2014), 55-55. Published, 03/2014.
  • Introduction and co-translation with Ko Chang-soo, Mask: Poems by Lee Gil-Won. Lee Gil-Won. Gyeonggido, S. Korea: Bumwoo Publishing. Published, 07/2013.
  • “Yesuwon: an Ongoing Experiment in the Kangwondo Wilderness.” Journal of Korean Religions 4.1 (2013): 139-167. Published, 04/2013.
  • "Separating from the Confucian World: The Shift away from Syncretism in Early Korean Catholic Literature." Acta Koreana 15.1 (2012): 127-145. Published, 06/2012.
  • "Separate but Engaged: Human Subjectivity in the Poetry of Tasan Chông Yagyong." Journal of Korean Studies 15 (2010): 95-122. Published, 12/2010.
  • (book review) The Comparative Journeys: Essays on Literature and Religion East and West by Anthony C. Yu. Comparative Literature Studies 47:3 (2010), 387-390. Published, 07/2010.
  • Translation of Seong San Myeong Gyeong (The Clear Mirror of Sacred Mountain), Choe Byeong Hyeon. Ed. Kim Jae Hyun. Seoul: KIATS Press. Published, 04/2010.
  • Translation of Mansaseongchwi (The Attainment of All Things), Gil Seon-Ju. Ed. Kim Jae Hyun. Seoul: KIATS Press. Published, 01/2008.
  • Translation of The Translation Series of the Korean Christian Classics I: A Record of the Dream of Yi Byeok; A Record of the Words of Ryu-Han-Dang; Meditation on Life after Death. Ed. Kim Jae Hyun. Seoul: The Korean Christian Museum at Soongsil University. Published, 01/2007.