Marc Opper’s research focuses on the etiology, conduct, and outcome of internal conflicts with a focus on the micro-level interactions between civilians and armed groups. He specializes in the politics and society of China and of the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, as well as the politics and history of the Vietnam War. His current book project, Fighting the People, Fighting for the People: Insurgent Governance and Conflict Outcomes in China, Malaya, and Vietnam makes extensive use of primary sources to examine the relationship between the institutions established by armed insurgent groups and the outcomes of internal conflicts. His research seeks combine social science with history and area studies to produce work that appreciates and embraces local contexts while producing generally-applicable theoretical insights into social and political phenomena. In addition to his book project, he is also working on separate projects that analyze resource extraction by the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930’s and 1940’s, the formal legal systems of insurgent organizations, and the role of local elections in civil wars. While at Yale, in addition to conducting research, he taught an undergraduate seminar, “Contemporary State-Building in Asia.”
Klaus Yamamoto-Hammering’s writing so far has focused on the violence of state recognition in contemporary Japan, and specifically, on the intersection of this violence with certain social differences which statist discourse would eliminate. As an anthropologist, Yamamoto-Hammering’s writing has taken the form of an ethnographic engagement with: school teachers who refuse to pay homage to imperial symbols of the state; construction workers in the vanishing day laborer district of Tokyo; a handful of “radical” leftists and their cry for revolution; the “internet right-wing” and its hate speech; and “Fukushima.” He is invested in embedding critical theory in his writing, and in the capacity of ethnography to prompt the imagination of social differences where the order of state recognition would foreclose hospitality. During the fall term he taught “Recognition, Shame, and the State in Contemporary Japan.”
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 developed “Dancing Africa, (Un)Doing Koreanness” into a book manuscript and taught 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).
Cindi Textor received her Ph.D from University of Washington in 2016. Her dissertation, “Radical Language, Radical Identity: Korean Writers in Japanese Spaces and the Burden to ‘Represent’,” examines articulations of identity and difference in literary texts situated in contact zones between modern Japanese and Korean literature. Placing such texts in conversation with theories of identity from critical race, queer, and disability studies, the project asks how their writers manipulate the language available to them in order to articulate intersectional Korean identities. Cindi is also the translator of Kim Sŏkpŏm’s The Curious Tale of Mandogi’s Ghost. At Yale, she revised her dissertation for publication and began a second project on Japanese-Korean solidarities in transnational protest movements. She also taught a seminar titled “Popular Culture in Motion: Japanese Empire to Korean Wave.”