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Faculty and Staff


Hae Yeon Choo

Hae Yeon Choo (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology. Her research centers on the intersections of gender, sexuality, transnational migration, and citizenship for understanding the changing dynamics of complex inequalities. She is working on her book manuscript, Contentious Citizenship: Gender, Migration, and the Practice of Rights in South Korea, a comparative ethnographic analysis of gendered migrant incorporation in the case of migrant factory workers, marriage migrants, and military camptown club hostesses. Her second research project, "Cartographies of Gender: The Dynamics of Global Stratification in Gender-Related Refugee Case Law," examines the shifting dynamics of global stratification that emerge from the encounter between women refugee claimants and adjudicators at the site of refugee case law in Canada. She has also translated Patricia Hill Collins’s Black Feminist Thought into Korean.

Jennifer Jihye Chun

Jennifer Jihye Chun (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at UTSC. Her research is internationally comparative and explores the changing world of work and politics in the global economy. Her current research projects focus on labour repression and violence in South Korea, immigrant women workers and community organizing, and the political economy of English. She is the author of Organizing at the Margins: The Symbolic Politics of Labor in South Korea and the United States (Cornell University Press, 2009), winner of the American Sociological Association’s Race, Gender and Class Section's Distinguished Book Award, and has published in journals such as Work and Occupations, Critical Sociology, Third World Quarterly, Gyŏngje wa sahoe and Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

Ju Hui Judy Han

Ju Hui Judy Han (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Geography at UTSC. Her research has primarily examined missionary mobilities, evangelical capitalism, and the political economy of English. New research includes religious cultivation of political homophobia, faith-based and conscientious objection to military service, and a five-year project on the spatial politics of religious growth and urban aspirations in Seoul, an international collaboration supported by the Academy of Korean Studies and managed by the Max Planck Institute in Germany. In the works is a book manuscript titled Reaching for the World: Missionary Aspirations and Korean/American Evangelical Christianity concerning the complex interplay between religious, humanitarian, and development aid efforts.

Yoonjung Kang

Yoonjung Kang (Ph.D., MIT) is an Assistant Professor in linguistics in the Department of Humanities at UTSC and holds a graduate appointment in the Department of Linguistics. Her areas of specialization are phonetics, phonology and their interface, with a special focus on Korean. She is currently conducting research on the sound patterns of English and Japanese loanwords in Korean; specifically she is examining the role of detailed phonetics in explaining the patterns of transformation the borrowed words undergo. She is also studying the dialectal variations in nominal and verbal inflections in Korean, investigating the theoretical implication of the dialectal data on the question of how inflectional paradigms are acquired and represented in the speakers' mental grammar.

Hana Kim

Hana Kim is presently the Korea Studies Librarian at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library of the University of Toronto. She is responsible for collection management and development and services relating to Korean Studies. She holds a B.Ed. in German and English Language teaching from Korea National University of Education, South Korea and an MLIS from McGill University, Canada. Previous to this, she also obtained the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) in Korean & English from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in Melbourne, Australia. She is also an active translator and won The First Annual Min Chapbook Competition for her translation of poems by Cheonhak Kwon. She is the translator of 2H2 + O2 = 2H2O (Tamal Vista).

Kyoungrok Ko

Kyoungrok Ko (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is a lecturer of Korean language in the Department of East Asian Studies. He is coordinating the Korean language program and teaching Korean at beginning to advanced levels. In addition, he is organizing the Annual Ontario Korean Speech Contest. His scholarly interests include: Korean pedagogy, foreign/second language writing pedagogy, and integration of technology in foreign/second language education. He translated the book Doing Foreign Language (by Hamilton et al.) with Ross King into Korean and is currently involved in several research projects on foreign/second language pedagogy.

Jin-kyung Park

Jin-kyung Park (Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is an Assistant Professor in Global Asia Studies/Women’s Studies in the Department of Humanities at UTSC and holds a graduate appointment in Women and Gender Studies Institute. Her research focuses on gender, colonialism, biopolitics, biomedicine, and technology in modern Korea. She is currently working on a book manuscript about a cultural history of puinbyŏng (women’s disease) in colonial Korea.  

Ito Peng

Ito Peng (Ph.D., London School of Economics) is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Faculty of Arts and Science. She teaches political sociology, comparative welfare states, and public policy, specializing in family, gender, and labour market policies, and focusing on East Asia, Europe, and North America. Her published articles have appeared in Politics and Society, Social Politics, International Labor Review, Social Policy and Administration Journal, Development & Change, Journal of East Asian Studies, and others. She has just completed a large international research project coordinated by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) on political and social economy of care and a SSHRC funded research project comparing social investment policies in Canada, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Her current research includes: 1) an international comparative research on demography, gender and care migration; and 2) a comparative research on labour market dualization in Asia and Europe.

Joshua D. Pilzer

Joshua D. Pilzer (PhD University of Chicago) is Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology in the Faculty of Music. His research focuses on the anthropology of music in modern South Korea, and the relationships between music, memory, traumatic experience, marginalization, socialization and identity. He has recently completed a book manuscript about survivors of the Japanese “comfort women” system and their uses of music as an expressive form and a practice of identity vis-à-vis other forms of expression such as everyday speech and public testimony. He has published articles in Ethnomusicology, Dongyang Umak Yeonggu, and The Courtesan's Arts: Cross-Cultural Perspectives (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006).

Janet Poole

Janet Poole (Ph.D., Columbia University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies. Her research focuses on the relationship between aesthetics and formations of colonialism and postcolonial national division, explored through literature, art and material culture, on theories of translation and literary translation. She is the author of When the Future Disappears: The Modernist Imagination in Late Colonial Korea (forthcoming on Columbia University Press) and translator of a collection of anecdotal essays published during the Pacific War by Yi T'aejun, Eastern Sentiments (Columbia University Press, paperback edition, 2013). She is currently exploring the remains of colonial history through a study of Japanese-style houses on the Korean peninsula.

Andre Schmid

Andre Schmid (Ph.D., Columbia University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Studies. His current research interests include the history of the cultural Cold War in post-Korean War peninsula as well as early twentieth century peasant movements. He is the author of Korea Between Empires, 1895-1919 (Columbia University Press), winner of the Association of Asian Studies John Whitney Hall award, and has published in journals such as Journal of Asian Studies, South Atlantic Quarterly, and Yoksa munje yon'gu.

Jesook Song

Jesook Song (Ph.D. University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a South Korean specialist, trained as an urban anthropologist with an emphasis on interdisciplinary methods of discourse analyses. Her interests include (neo)liberalization, policing family, homelessness, young adults' underemployment, new working poor, spatial autonomy of unmarried women. Her first book, South Korea in the Debt Crisis: The Creation of a Neoliberal Welfare Society, was published by Duke University Press in 2009. She has also edited books and published in various journals, including Positions, Anthropological Quarterly, and Pacific Affairs.

Joe Wong

Joe Wong (Ph.D., Wisconsin-Madison) is a Professor of Political Science and current Director of the Asian Institute. His current research interests include social welfare, particularly in the area of health care, as well as post-industrial policy such as in health biotechnologies. In addition to publishing widely in academic journals, Prof. Wong is the author of Healthy Democracies: Welfare Politics in Taiwan and South Korea. (Cornell University Press).


Eileen Lam

Eileen Lam is Associate Director of the Asian Institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. She is an award-winning administrator (Dean’s Faculty of Arts and Science Student Life Award 2011 & Stepping Up Recognition Award 2008) and has been with the University in various capacities. Prior to that, she was Partner at Shianlin & Associates, an international marketing consulting firm specializing in working with developing countries. She has an interest in fundraising and has coordinated events to benefit community organizations, such as Second Harvest, Nellie’s, Mon Sheong Home for the Aged, and CARE Canada.