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Korean specialist to join Asian Studies Program

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Jun 29, 2011

Dr. Young-a Park
Dr. Young-a Park
The Asian Studies Program in the School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa will welcome a new faculty member, Dr. Young-a Park, beginning August 1. She will teach a course titled, “Globalization in East Asia.”
“The Asian Studies Program is fortunate to have a Korean specialist of Professor Park’s caliber,” said Dr. Yung-Hee Kim, a professor and director of the Center for Korean Studies. “We are excited about the new dimensions she will bring to Korean studies at UH Mānoa.”  
Park obtained her BA and MA from Seoul National University and PhD in anthropology from Harvard University. She is currently an assistant professor of anthropology at Knox College in Illinois.
Her research and teaching interests cover issues of post-authoritarian politics, film industry, social movements, globalization, and migration in South Korea. Park’s book, “Unexpected Alliances: Post-Authoritarian State, Independent Film Networks, and Film Industry in South Korea,” is currently under review by Stanford University Press. In it, Park investigates the cultural and institutional roots of the Korean film industry’s phenomenal success in the context of Korea’s political transition in the late 1990s.
Park is also conducting a new line of research on North Korean refugees in South Korea. While the rhetoric of “One Korea, One Nation” is prevalent in two Koreas, the social and cultural differences between North Korean defectors and South Koreans are articulated in both public discourses and everyday lives. Through this research, she examines how the social inequality between the North Korean defectors and South Koreans is being newly structured despite the strong ideology of equality based on ethnic nationalism.