Affiliated researcher in Korean Studies
Research Fellow of Clare Hall
I was born and grew up in South Korea, having my education up to MA degree in Anthropology. In 2000, I came to the UK to study for a PhD in social anthropology at the University of Cambridge. The dissertation which I finished in 2008 was titled Placed in movement: the making of Korean diaspora in the Russian Far East and was based on fieldwork research in 2002-4. Then, I took up ESRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Social Anthropology at Cambridge in 2009-10, conducting further research with focus on informal and domestic agricultural activities by Russian Koreans in the Russian Far East in the marketization process in the region. In 2011 I joined the Department of East Asian Studies.
Subject groups/Research projects
I am interested in the relational aspect of Korea as a whole and its manifestation in the people’s social life, especially among those who had to experience displacements on the boundary of Korea in the modern era. In this regard, Russian Koreans were the first emigration from the Korean peninsula in the late 19th century, afterwards also embodied the Cold War, having had to live in disconnection with Korea proper during the 20th century. As the most distant cultural group of Koreans with the longest history of migration, Russian Koreans provide me with the leverage to think of ‘Korea’, ‘Korean culture’ or ‘Koreans’ from comparative perspective, taking into account of historical and socio-economic contexts. This line of query is mainly dealt with in my monograph on which I am working. The other research interest lies in the borderland to the north of North Korea which used to be called ‘Manchuria’ in the past. I am currently working on the socio-political practices around the border between northeast China and the Russian Far East, focusing on the ethnic Koreans’ trading activities across the border, also highlighting the locality of the borderland. In more general terms, I am interested in the land and people and its (dis-) connection across the boundaries.
Temporality in origin and network: diaspora politics in the Russian Far East, Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. Under review.
‘The multicultural family’ and the politics of selective inclusion in South Korea’, British Association of Korean Studies Vol. 15: 5-19, 2013.
‘Migration regime among Koreans in Primorskii Krai, Russia’, Inner Asia Vol. 15: 77-99, 2013.
‘Hard-work and autonomy of Koreans in the Russian Far East: focusing on greenhouse cultivation’, Korean Cultural Anthropology 42(1): 81-110, 2009 [in Korean].