Seung-kyung Kim - Korea Foundation Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Indiana University Bloomington
This seminar, geared towards those with a more extensive background in Korean studies, will focus on the genealogies and trajectories of “The Korean Council for Women drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan” (Han’guk chŏngshindae munje taech’aek hyŏbŭihoe), and map the transnational activism of the “comfort women” movement. The “comfort women” movement stands as an important example of postcolonial feminist practice and presents a clear case of how “the personal is political.” As part of this movement, the surviving “comfort women” became empowered to speak for and about themselves, and, in so doing, they transformed themselves from invisible victims/ghosts to important spokespeople for transnational peace movements. This examination contributes to the on-going discussion of the possibility and meaning of transnational women’s movements within the context of the postcolonial nation.
Seung-kyung Kim is the inaugural Korea Foundation Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies within the School of Global and International Studies. Before coming to Indiana University, Kim served as Chair of the Department of Women’s Studies and Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Maryland. She has also served as the founding Director of the Asian American Studies Program, and as Acting Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Humanities.
Her scholarship addresses the participation of women in social movements as workers and in relation to the state; the processes of transnational migration in the context of globalization and the experiences of families in that process, especially with regard to education; and feminist theories of social change.
Besides numerous journal articles and book chapters, she is the author of Class Struggle or Family Struggle?: Lives of Women Factory Workers in South Korea (Cambridge University Press, 2009/1997) and The Korean Women’s Movement and the State: Bargaining for Change (Routledge, 2014), and co-editor of Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives (Routledge, 2016/2013/2009/2003).
She is currently working on a book manuscript, The Making of Global Citizens?: Transnational Migration and Education in Kirŏgi Families, co-authored with John Finch.