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Hello! I'm an interdisciplinary social scientist specialized in ethnicity and nationalism, international political economy, gender/sexuality, and cultural ecology. My research engages with Indigenous and diasporic communities in the Asia-Pacific and North America to cultivate knowledge, kinship, and power.
I belong to the third generation of Zainichi Koreans, who are stateless postcolonial exiles and quasi-refugees of Korean descent in/from Japan. My ancestors crossed the sea from colonial Korea to imperial Japan and lost their way home due to the Korean war and division.
As a writer, teacher, and community organizer, I seek to dismantle violent structures of transnational capital by connecting my people's story to the vibrant histories of queer, trans, and non-binary people of color.
"Queer Korean diaspora:
an ethnography of geopolitics"
Diverse Korean subjects gravitate towards grassroots organizing in major US cities, including transnational adoptees, Zainichi Koreans (Koreans in/from Japan), and queer-identified individuals. My ethnography shows how those organizers cultivate queer diasporic kinship by centering their sense of place, time, and belonging. Confronting a genocidal division, their embodied practices animate ethnic community solidarity through what I call geopolitical healing, a process of articulating the sacredness of life and land. Such collective agency challenges liberal social theory dominating the discourse of Korean unification. Upgrading social science with queer of color critique, my research illuminates a cultural ecology of community life mediated by spirits.
Ph.D. in Sociology
Rutgers University (2022)
M.A. in Sociology
Rutgers University (2015)
M.Sc. in Gender, Development, and Globalisation
London School of Economics (2012)
B.A. in Sociology
San Francisco State University (2010)
new publication: Book Chapter
Counter-mapping Indigeneity and Diaspora in the Trans-Pacific"
Contemporary Archipelagic Thinking: Towards New Comparative Methodologies and Disciplinary Formations
Edited by Michelle Stephens and Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
in progress: Book Project
Community and healing in the korean diaspora
My first book, Queer Unification: Community and Healing in the Korean Diaspora, re-imagines Korean unification as decolonial sovereignty emerging from transnational grassroots organizing.
I argue that queer diasporic Koreans' community practices enable "geopolitical healing" as embodied relationships of belonging and accountability.