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재외 문학 연구는 지역, 장르와 같은 기본 영역 외에도 다양한 방법론으로 접근할 가능성이 큰 분야이다. 하지만 그 범위에 비해 작가, 작품이 집중되어 연구되거나 개척되지 않은 분야가 존재한다. 본고는 각각의 연구범주를 구체적인 통계자료를 통해 그 흐름과 성과를 확인해보았다. 초창기 재외문학은 이주 지역의 한 지류로 인식되었다. 이후 한국문학 내에서 연구의 필요성이 인식되었는데, 이는 영향, 수용, 사실관계와 같은 비교문학적 시선이 확대되었기 때문이었다. 2000년대는 디아스포라의 재 정의로 인해 상당한 관심을 끌게 되었으며 다양한 장르로 연구가 확장되기도 하였다. 재외문학연구는 사회적·역사적 맥락에서 재해석되면서 주제의 폭이 넓어졌다. 이는 연구 목적과 정전(canon)화에 대한 고민들이 다양화되었기 때문이었다. 여전히 재외문학 연구는 그 가능성이 열려있는 분야이다.


This paper focuses on the progress of research on overseas Korean literature. Since research on overseas Korean literature is unconstrained by region, it reveals changes in research on foreign versus Korean literature, key subjects by period, and collaboration between the academic and cultural fields. As such, a survey of research on overseas Korean literature within Korea will contribute to determining the trends of comparative literature. The bibliography of research on comparative literature in Korea includes information on publication dates, regions, and genres of journal articles. In the early years (1960~1980), research on overseas Korean literature was concentrated on the background of literature by Koreans living abroad. In the middle period (1981~2000), studies became more distinct by region and cultural understanding. Studies on Korean-American literature employed intertextuality or cultural methodologies, Korean-Japanese literature was viewed as part of Japanese literature, while Korean-Chinese literature was regarded as a branch of Korean literature. Research dating back to the early 2000s looked at overseas Korean literature under the concepts of localism, identity, and diaspora. In the late 2000s, writers were analyzed from a different perspective and the research of that era delved deeper into comparative literature based on past research. During this period, studies on comparative literature, both Korean and foreign, grew more diverse. In particular, a higher proportion of research on overseas Korean literature in journals specializing in Korean literature appeared. Due to its dual nature, research on overseas Korean literature is more active within a genre rather than across genres. The most commonly studied genre is fiction, but significant progress has been made in other fields including general non-fiction, society, and language. This change has occurred because overseas Korean literature itself stimulates cultural and social discussions. Research on overseas Korean literature first began outside of Korea since such works are written by those living abroad, but grew more diverse with the introduction of new methodologies under the framework of Korean literature. This study reaffirmed the change in awareness of comparative literature methodologies, and the change in status of comparative literature in Korea. It was found that certain areas were more extensively studied, and others remain yet to be explored, indicating the need for more research in the future. This review of comparative literature research based on actual statistics is expected to generate inferences from other methodologies.