You are here

EAP 2015-16 Korea Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor

Professor Eunshil Kim

The 2015-16 Korea Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor in Korean Studies is Professor Eun-shil Kim of the Department of Women's Studies, Ewha Womans University.

Professor Kim taught a course "Studying Contemporary Korea through Gender and Sexuality." She also gave several talks at Cornell, including a Clarke Program in East Asian Law and Culture Colloquium talk on “The Politics of Speaking and the Subjectivity of Defilement: Focusing on the Testimonies of 4.3 Widows in Jeju."

ANTHR 4021 / FGSS 4121 / ASIAN 4421

Professor Kim holds a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, San Francisco and an M.A. in Anthropology from Seoul National University. She is currently Professor in the Department of Women's Studies and the Director of Korea Women Institute at Ewha Womans University. She has been one of co-editors in the Asian Journal of Women's Studies for many years, and has been involved in developing the intellectual community of feminist scholars in Asia since 1995 and worked as the secretary general when the Asian Center for Women's Studies at Ewha organized the Interdisciplinary Congress on Women in 2005. Professor Kim's research has been in the field of women's bodies, sexuality, nationalism, globalization and migration, feminist knowledge production and post-development issues. She has published many articles including “The Discourse of Nationalism and Gender,” “The Cultural Logic of the Korean Modernization Project and its Gender Politics," “Itaewon as an Alien Space Within the Nation-State and a Place in the Globalization Era,” “The Formation of Public Sphere and Gender Politics during the Nation-Building Period of the First Republic of South Korea in the 1950s,” and recent papers "The Politics of Institutionalizing Feminist Knowledge: Discussing 'Asian Women's Studies in South Korea," and “The Postcolonial Politics of Food: Creating ‘Locality’ through Local Knowledge." Her books include Women's Bodies, the Cultural Politics of Bodies, (co-authored) Fascism Within Us, (co-authored) Locational Feminisms in the Age of Globalization, (co-authored) Noh Muhyun Government’s Experiments: Unfinished Reform , etc. 

Korea Women's Institute:


Korean Studies Workshop - Gender and Sexuality in the Neoliberal Regime of South Korea
Gender & Sexuality Korean Studies Workshop 2016


The discourse of neoliberalism is so popular in Korean academic circles that in some sense all emerging problems are attributed to neoliberalism. At the same time,misogyny is so prevalent in Korea, especially through SNS, that it is regarded as a kind of gender war and a social and cultural violence against women.The hatred of women pivots on the basic idea that men are suffering from having to take care of women and the family, and that women are selfish, materialistic, and treat men as if they are a source of bottomless funds. Neoliberal restructuring policies are very closely related to the hatred of women. In everyday discourses, critical questions regarding neoliberal policies are replaced with the claim that women demonstrate a lack of responsibility for harmonious gender relations, family and social reproduction, and are therefore ‘selfish.’ Young men fear and are anxious about their future in a competitive market driven society and this is conveniently redirected and represented as distress stemming from issues of dating, marriage and sexuality; men are represented as being emotionally hurt. On the other hand, women are regarded as empowered through female friendly social support systems represented by the establishment of the Ministry of Gender Equality as well as the feminist movements of the 90s. But in fact, during the turn of the 21st century, women in Korean society faced contradictory conditions in which women-friendly laws and policies were legislated during the 90s while neoliberal economic policies, hand in hand with restructuring government and social institutions, marginalized women within the economic market and the state apparatus. During the 2010s, market value and class became discursive keywords in order to explain someone’s identity and potential. According to the labor market, the female gender is the less valued commodity. Within this kind of sociocultural context, this workshop invites four researchers who are exploring issues of gender and sexuality within and trans- South Korea. In the face of the saturation and loosening of the term neoliberalism, these four scholars will deal with how the notion of gender and sexuality is situated within and trans- Korean society, how scholars can problematize the neoliberal context of Korean society, and how to change the way in which questions are framed for and by the neoliberal market.


"Affective Baggage and Self-Suspension in Contemporary South Korea"

Jesook Song, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto


"Curing Virginity: Disabled Sexuality and the Humanitarian Appeal"

Eunjung Kim, Assistant Professor, Women's and Gender Studies, Syracuse University


"My Skill: Precarious Attachments and Narratives of Korean Garment Workers"

Seo Young Park, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Scripps College


"The Work of Waiting: Love and Money in Korean Chinese Transnational Migration"

June Hee Kwon, Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, New York University