Call For Applications: University of California, Irvine Center for Critical Korean Studies Post-Doctoral Opportunity

The Center for Critical Korean Studies (CCKS) at the University of California, Irvine invites applications for a full-time, non-tenured, academic term appointment for Post-doctoral scholar position from September 1, 2017 to August 31, 2018. While in residence at the Center, the postdoc will:

  • Work on an individual research project leading to publication as defined in the cover letter.
  • Give one public lecture or works-in-progress talk on campus during appointment period.
  • Attend and co-organize CCKS-sponsored events, such as lectures, film screenings and symposia.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in a humanities or social science and on a Korea-related research topic (graduated within the past seven years)

This position is full-time and includes benefits. Starting annual salary is $48,216. Salary is commensurate with experience.

Application Process:

  • Application must be submitted by April 30, 2017 at (position number)
  • Interested candidates should submit the required application materials listed below at:
  • Candidate must have the proof of degree completion before the appointment begins on September 1, 2017.

Applications must include the following:

  • Cover letter explaining research project, teaching experience and what you plan to accomplish while in residence at CCKS
  • Writing sample (max. 30 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity


Erica Yun, CCKS Program Coordinator, at

Call For Applications: University of Iowa C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and UI International Programs invite applications for the position of C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies, at the full professor or senior associate professor levels, to commence in the Fall of 2018.

Applicants must be specialists in a humanities or social science discipline, must have primary research and teaching expertise in Korean Studies, and may also have interdisciplinary and/or supranational research interests.

Appointment will be to an appropriate disciplinary department. The successful applicant will also hold a 0% appointment in International Programs, and is expected to be an active participant in the activities of the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies. Review processes, teaching assignments, and primary responsibility for mentorship will reside within the department of appointment. This is an endowed position with a reduced teaching load and annual research funds.

Applicants must demonstrate a record of excellence in scholarship and teaching commensurate with a position at the senior associate professor or full professor levels, and be able to teach courses that meet the needs of the department of appointment as well as complement existing strengths within the department and college. Applicants must also demonstrate a level of language fluency in both English and Korean appropriate for research and teaching.

Review of applications will begin October 1, 2017.
To apply, please visit and reference Requisition #70718 .

Application materials should include:

Letter of Interest
Curriculum Vitae
A Representative Writing Sample
Name and Contact Information of Three References
(Letters of recommendation will be requested only for short-listed candidates).

For more information contact:

Alaina R. Hanson
Morten Schlütter

Job Opening: Academic Program Specialist

The Nam Center is looking for experienced administrative staff member to join our team, and manage our Big Ten Academic Alliance e-School project. Candidates who would like to work with faculty and staff from all over the consortium to implement an innovative distance learning program are encouraged to apply.

Further information can be found at this link.

Nam Center Spotlight: I Jonathan Kief

In this edition of the Nam Center Spotlight series we spoke with I Jonathan Kief, a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow, about his work studying Korean literature and “humanism.”


Nam Center: Where are you from?

J: I’m from New York and stayed there for college. After college I traveled to a few places, including Korea, and then ended up back in New York for graduate school.

Nam Center: How did you start studying Korea?

J: It was actually coincidental. I needed a summer job, and I thought that since I was starting at Columbia, a good way to get to know the university would be to work for one of the departments. I called every department asking if they needed someone to work there over the summer. Every single department said no except for East Asian Languages and Cultures where I proofread the course descriptions and got to know the courses really well. The next year, there happened to be a new professor who taught Korean literature, and when I saw the course description I thought, “I know nothing about that.” I went for the first day to see if I liked it, and I did, and it ended up being my favorite class.

Nam Center: That’s interesting. What was the focus of that first course?

J:  It was an introductory course on 20th century Korean literature. What initially interested me was the extremely engaged relationship between literature and politics that I encountered in the course readings. That was something that caught my eye and seemed to distinguish Korean literature from other literary traditions that I had studied in other classes. My interests have expanded from there, but that was one of the first things to really grab me.

Nam Center: What about your work do you find important?

J: Part of what I’m looking at is how the North Korean cultural and intellectual sphere and the South Korean cultural and intellectual sphere, while having their separate identities and separate shapes, were produced out of a common history and in indirect or direct dialogue with each other. At the same time, I try to show how these dialogues occurred within a transnational context. I think that’s something that is easy to leave out. Often, when we study foreign literature, we study it in a national context. There’s a good reason for this; with “Korean literature,” for example, it’s written in Korean and published in Korea and there’s a certain national tradition that it emerges out of and operates within. But one of the things that I try to bring out in my research is how Korean writers were working in a literary world that was not simply national but also international. The writers I study were reading texts from a variety of languages and engaging in dialogue with colleagues from a variety of places. These exchanges played a central role in shaping modern Korean literature – and they also played a central role in shaping the relationship between writers in North and South Korea.

Nam Center: Do you want to speak a little about the book you’re working on?

J: It’s based upon my dissertation but adds a variety of new material. One of its main goals is to do what I just described – show how North and South Korean writers interacted with each other within a transnational context – through the lens of a series of discussions about “humanism.” This is a discussion that began in the colonial 1930s in dialogue with similar ones in Japan, the Soviet Union, France, and beyond, and it is a dialogue that continued in both postcolonial North and South Korea throughout the 1950s and 1960s. So by tracing this series of discussions, the book attempts to rethink the relationship between colonial and postcolonial Korea, the relationship between postcolonial North and South Korea, and the relationship between Korean literature and “world literature.” It also pays particular attention to the ways in which exchanges across the East Sea with Japan continued to play an important role in Korean cultural and intellectual production even after the end of colonial rule in 1945. This was the case in both Koreas, and the book highlights these exchanges in order to explore the regional – rather than simply national – contours of the Cold War in East Asia.

Call For Applications: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Korean Studies at Ruhr-University Bochum

The Department of Korean Studies at Ruhr-University Bochum is accepting applicants for one postdoctoral fellowship in the field of Korean Studies for six months during the summer term 2017 (start date: April 2017), with the possibility of extension for an additional six months. This scholarship is funded through the Academy of Korean Studies for the research project “Transcoding as Cultural and Social Practice” jointly conducted by the Korean Studies Institute, Ruhr-University Bochum and the Institute for Korean Studies, Freie University Berlin.

Entailed in the fellowship is a teaching obligation of one course/semester (B.A. or M.A.), and includes a stipend of 2,000 Euro per month.

Preference will be given to candidates with the intention of using the scholarship for the development of, and application for, a third party funded research project to be conducted at Ruhr University Bochum after the completion of the fellowship period.

Applications should include (1) a cover letter stating the applicant’s aims and purposes; (2) a CV; (3) a substantive outline of the applicant’s proposed postdoctoral research project; (4) a preliminary course title; (5) a writing sample; (6) contact information of two referees.

Deadline for the submission of applications: 02. January 2017 (CET)

Note that only electronic submissions (as a single pdf document) will be accepted. Only successful candidates will be notified until 15. January 2017.

Please send your application to:
Prof. Dr. Marion Eggert
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Sektion Sprache und Kultur Koreas
OAW Haus, 2.07
Universitätsstraße 134
44801 Bochum
Tel.: +49-234-32 25572
Fax:  +49-234-32 14787
eMail: marion.eggert[at]

Perspectives on Contemporary Korea 2016: Korean Families in Economic and Demographic Transitions: Parenting, Children’s Education, and Social Mobility


November 11-12, 2016 | University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Perspectives on Contemporary Korea Conference VI


Hyunjoon Park (Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania)
Nojin Kwak (Nam Center/Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan)

Sponsors: Nam Center for Korean Studies, University of Michigan

South Korean families with children have changed significantly during the last few decades in composition, structure, and function. Major demographic changes, including the rise of divorce, and increase of marriage between Koreans and foreigners, have diversified Korean families. Moreover, the recent trends of rising economic inequality and deteriorating job security have posed serious challenges to many families, particularly at the lower end of socioeconomic hierarchy. How do Korean parents and children cope with the economic and demographic challenges? How do the economic and demographic trends in Korea contribute to widening disparities in family environments? When families struggle with economic strain and family instability, how do extended family networks work to provide economic, social, and emotional support to vulnerable family members? These questions of how families fare at the crossroads of economic and demographic changes, and whether families can rely on family ties in navigating the crossroads, are particularly important in Korea that has traditionally weak public welfare.

However, families are not only responding to economic inequality but they also contribute to economic inequality. For instance, the trend of rising educational homogamy can mean that families are increasingly bifurcated between families in which both spouses have a college degree and their counterparts in which both spouses have no college education. As women’s economic participation has increased, growing educational homogamy can contribute to the increasing gap in economic resources between families at the top and bottom of economic hierarchy.  Similarly, scholars and policy makers have assessed the extent to which changing family structure accounts for changing economic inequality among families.

This conference, Korean Families in Economic and Demographic Transitions, the sixth in Perspectives on Contemporary Korea series, aims to bring scholars together to discuss how recent economic and demographic changes have affected parents and children in Korea, and at the same time how changing family structure and arrangements have also contributed to recent economic and social inequality. In particular, the conference invites scholars with both quantitative and qualitative approaches to Korean families. On the one hand, quantitative studies can offer trends and patterns of changing Korean families. On the other hand, qualitative research can explore subjective meanings, perceptions, and experiences of inequality and family changes beneath macro trends and patterns. In collaboration, these approaches offer the opportunity for better understanding of changing Korean families and surrounding inequalities.

The following are some possible topics that can be include in the conference, but any papers that fit the theme are welcome.

  • How do recent increasing job insecurity and rising economic inequality affect Korean children’s education and well-being, particularly by influencing parents’ investment and involvement in children’s education and other activities?
  • How has Korean parents’ and children’s time use changed?
  • What are the most serious issues Korean families with children deal with? How do those issues differ for affluent and poor families?
  • How have the notion and meaning of motherhood and fatherhood changed in the context of changing economy and demography?
  • Is there an emerging pattern of the parent-child relationship that is distinctive from the parent-child relationship in the past?
  • How do grandparents and other relatives matter for Korean parents and children who face particularly serious challenges at the crossroads?
  • What are the implications of recent trends in family behaviors and structure for economic and social inequality at the next generation?
  • How are contemporary Korean families and inequality portrayed in the media and films?

Korean Families is the sixth annual conference on contemporary Korea sponsored by the Nam Center for Korean Studies at the University of Michigan. Previous conferences in the series have examined the phenomenon of Hallyu in the age of social media, transgressive practices in Korean society, the politics of sports, cultural products of the Yushin era, and new communication technologies in present-day Korea.



Nov 11-12, 2016

Friday November 11, 2016

9:50-10:00       Welcoming Remarks

Nojin Kwak (Nam Center/Department of Communication Studies, University of Michigan)

10:00-10:20     Introduction to the Conference

Hyunjoon Park (Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania)

10:20-12:00     1st Session – Parenthood, Class, and Social Mobility

Eunsil Oh (Department of Sociology, Harvard University) Social Class, Motherhood, and Childrearing: Evidence from South Korea

Caren Freeman (Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia) South Korea’s New Emotion Manager: Mothers at the Crossroads of the Psychological, the Neoliberal and the Divine

So Jin Park (Institute for Social Development Studies, Yonsei University) Qualitative Inquiry of Korean Families and Parents in the Eyes of their Children amidst Family Social Mobility

Discussant: Bonnie Tilland (East Asia International College, Yonsei University)

1:30-3:10     2nd Session – Family and Children’s Well-being I

Yean-Ju Lee (Department of Sociology, University of Hawaii) Class, Gender-role Attitudes, and Parenting for Young Children

Hyeyoung Woo (Department of Sociology, Portland State University) Does Marriage Still Matter? Parental Marital Status and Children’s Health in Korea

Soo-yong Byun (Department of Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University) Consequences of Educational Assortative Marriage for Children’s Academic Achievement in South Korea

Discussant: Paul Chang (Department of Sociology, Harvard University)

3:30-4:40     3rd Session- Family and Children’s Well-being II

Haram Jeon (Center for Social Cohesion Education, Korea University) Is Parenting Required Even for College Students? – The Relationship between Living without Parents and Obesity among Young Adults

Hyunjoon Park (Department of Sociology, University of Pennsylvania) Do Grandparents’ Education Matter for Grandchildren’s Educational Attainment in Korea?

Discussant: Soo-yong Byun (Department of Education Policy Studies, Pennsylvania State University)

4:40-5:10     Wrap Up Discussion

Saturday November 12, 2016

9:30-11:10        4th Session – Changing Meanings of Family and Gender

Bonnie Tilland (East Asia International College, Yonsei University) Kwinong kwich’on kwihyang (“back-to-the-land”) Discourse of Young South Korean Families: Exchanging “Hell Choseon” for Breathing Room (yeoyu)

Irene Yung Park (Underwood International College, Yonsei University) The Changing Face of the Korean Family: Popular Representations of Multi-child Families

Byung Soo Lee (Department of Sociology, University at Buffalo, SUNY) Changes of the Gender Roles of Working Women in Korean Immigrant Families Living in the United States

Discussant: Allison Alexy (Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan)

11:30-12:40      5th Session – Immigration and Family

Aggie Noah (School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University) Parental Divorce and School Dropout among School-Age Children of Multicultural Families in South Korea

Paul Chang (Department of Sociology, Harvard University) Hypergamy or Homogamy? Status Differential and Marital Satisfaction among Marriage Migrants in Korea

Discussant: Hyeyoung Woo (Department of Sociology, Portland State University)

2:00-3:40      6th Session – Demographic and Economic Changes and Family

Jooyeoun Suh (Center for Time Use Research, University of Oxford) Nonstandard Work Hours and Quality of Life in South Korea

Jihye Oh (Department of Sociology, Yonsei University) Delaying? or Accelerating?  : The Timing and Possibility of Marriage of Single Men and Women in Korea

Soo-Yeon Yoon (Department of Sociology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) Integrating Men’s Gender Roles and Fertility Attitudes  into the Study of Low Fertility in South Korea

Discussant: Yean-Ju Lee (Department of Sociology, University of Hawaii)

4:00-4:20      Wrapping Up: Overall Discussion


Unable to make it to Ann Arbor for the conference? Select panels will be streamed at—symposia/perspectives-on-contemporary-korea/perspectives-on-contemporary-korea-2016—korean-families-in-eco.html.

Post questions to our Facebook page at, or to our Twitter account at

Scholarship for Postdoctoral Researchers at The University of Southern California Korean Studies Institute

The University of Southern California Korean Studies Institute is accepting applications for its 2017-2018 AKS Postdoctoral Fellowship. The Fellowship is open to scholars from all fields whose research pertains to Korea or involves Korea as part of a larger comparative or interdisciplinary research. The candidate must have a Ph.D. in hand and should be within 5 years of having received the Ph.D. by the beginning of the appointment. The Fellow is expected to remain in residence during the duration of the Fellowship, present their research, participate in KSI events, and mentor KSI Undergraduate Fellows on their research papers.

The Fellowship covers up to a 12-month period from August 15, 2017 to August 14, 2018, and provides a salary, benefits, shared office space, and access to libraries and resources at the University.

Interested applicants must submit the following via the online application portal ( by February 1, 2017. Reviews will begin on February 1.

The application must include:
1) Statement of Purpose
2) C.V.
3) Thesis Abstract
4) Writing Sample
5) Two Letters of Recommendation


More information can be found at and by contacting Sarah Shear at

NEKST Professional Development Resources

As part of the NEKST conference, the following two spreadsheets were created to provide a list of opportunities for funding opportunities and postdoctoral fellowships in Korean Studies.  You can download these spreadsheets at the links below:

Funding for Korean Studies

Postdocs for Korean Studies

These spreadsheets were compiled by Chelle Jones (doctoral student in Sociology) for the NEKST Conference professional development session by pulling information from the websites listed in the spreadsheets.

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