Soo Ryon Yoon
Soo Ryon Yoon (Ph.D. in Performance Studies, Northwestern University) works on transnational circulation of modern and contemporary performance, political economy, and embodied practices at the intersection of race and gender in East Asia. Her dissertation Dancing Africa, (Un)Doing Koreanness: Circulation of African Culture in Contemporary South Korea is a part ethnographic, part archival investigation into the relationship between political economy, racial politics, and three modalities of “African dance” performances – concert dance, dance at a museum, and folk dance in a dance class – in contemporary South Korea. This book-length project shows how Korean spectators, performance makers, curators, and public administrators practicing the dances and viewing the racially marked dancing bodies experience fluctuations in their own ideas and practices of Koreanness vis-à-vis the imagined qualities of Africanness. Ultimately, this project calls our attention to the role of performance as the very site in which racial and national consciousness is developed or troubled. Soo Ryon’s doctoral research has been supported by the Fulbright Program and the Buffett Institute Dissertation Research Award. While at Yale, she will be developing Dancing Africa, (Un)Doing Koreanness into a book manuscript and teaching an undergraduate seminar, “Race, Gender, and Performance in East Asia.” In addition to her academic work, Soo Ryon works as a freelance translator. She recently completed co-translation of a forthcoming book on yeoseong gukgeuk (Seoul: Forum A).
EAST 402, EALL 239, ER&M 344, THST 443
Race, Gender, and Performance in East Asia
Survey of contemporary performances in and around East Asia to more clearly understand the embodied processes in which racial and gendered social practices are shaped. Situating discussions in the specific political and cultural context of East Asia, students examine contemporary concert dance, K-pop idols, club and social dances, and protests and festivals in tandem with exploration of key concepts and theories.