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In their research and teaching, UC San Diego faculty place a special emphasis on various aspects of the transnational construction of modern and contemporary Korea, especially in its relations to the dual empires of Japan and the United States, as well as in its complex relations with China, the rest of Asia and, of course, the West. In addition to their educational and scholarly work on the humanities – in history and literature, for example – UC San Diego faculty are also involved in creative approaches to Korean Studies such as in music and visual arts. In this way, almost every department of the Division of Arts and Humanities is represented by a Koreanist –a unique strength of UC San Diego that is rarely found even at larger institutions.

Jin-kyung Lee - Director
Professor, Department of Literature

Jennifer Dieli - Program Coordinator
Current undergraduate students, please use the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) for advising questions.To schedule a one-on-one Zoom meeting, email at with your name, PID, available days and times, and reason for an appointment.

Core Faculty

Patty J. Ahn, Associate Teaching Professor, Department of Communication

Eric Cho, Assistant Professor, Department of Visual Arts

Hyejin Cho, Korean Language Instructor, Department of Literature

Stephan M. Haggard, Lawrence and Sallye Krause Professor of Korea-Pacific Studies; Director, Korea-Pacific Program

Todd A. Henry, Associate Professor, Department of History 

Nancy Yim, Korean Language Instructor, Department of Literature

Byung Chu (Dredge) Kang, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Jeyseon Lee, Senior Lecturer, Department of Literature 

Joo Ok Kim, Assistant Professor, Department of Literature 

Jin-kyung Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Literature 

Munseob Lee, Assistant Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy

Kyong Park, Professor, Department of Visual Arts 

Affiliated Faculty

Joseph D. Hankins, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology

Nancy Kwak, Associate Professor, Department of History

Ping-Hui Liao, Professor, Department of Literature

Simeon Man, Associate Professor, Department of History

Daniel Widener, Associate Professor, Department of History

Post Doctoral Scholars

Benoit BerthelierAKS Post-Doctoral Lecturer/Fellow in Transnational Korean Studies, Institute of Arts & Humanities (2017-18)

Minhwa Ahn, AKS Post-Doctoral Lecturer/Fellow in Transnational Korean Studies, Institute of Arts & Humanities (2016-17)

Layoung Shin, AKS Post-Doctoral Lecturer/Fellow in Transnational Korean Studies, Dept. of History (2015-16)

Han Sang KimAKS Post-Doctoral Lecturer/Fellow in Transnational Korean Studies, Dept. of History (2014-15)

Visiting Scholars

There is a relevant intellectual community consisting of numerous visiting scholars in Korean Studies that faculty at UC San Diego have hosted over the last 20 years. They participate in the intellectual life by attending Korean Studies colloquia and conferences as well as giving lectures on their own work. For scholars interested in visiting UC San Diego, please contact

This scholar has been hosted in the Institute of Arts & Humanities:

  • Sook Ja Park, Professor, Department of Physical Education, Gong-ju National University of Education (2017-18)

These scholars have been hosted in the Department of History:

  • Minjung Baik, Senior Researcher, National Research Foundation of Korea (2016-17)
  • Professor Baek Yung Kim, Kwangwoon University (2015-16)

These scholars have been hosted in the departments of Economics and Communication:

  • Professor Young-Han Kim, Sungkyunkwan University
  • Professor Young-Soo Shin, Seoul Women’s University
  • Professor Woo-Hyun Won, former Vice-President of the Korean Broadcasting Commission and former President of the Korean Communication Association

This scholar has been hosted in the Department of Sociology:

  • Professor Inyi Choi, Chungnam National University (2017-18), UC San Diego Alumni, PhD, Sociology '05

In addition, UC San Diego hosted five postdoctoral and senior visiting scholars working on monographs on Korean political economy:

  • Professor Yoonkyung Lee, SUNY Binghamton
  • Professor Seokchoon Lew, Yonsei University
  • Professor Jae-Jin Yang, Yonsei University
  • Professor Kyoungryung Seong, Hallym University
  • Professor Jong Hak Hong, Kyungwon University
  • Professor Chung-In Moon, Yonsei University

The Department of Literature has also hosted a steady stream of visiting scholars from South Korea and Japan in Korean literature and other areas such as English literature and Chinese literature, including the following:

  • Prof. Kim Yong-Kyu, Busan National University (2000-2001)
  • Prof. Kim Chul, Yonsei University (2002-2003)
  • Prof. Kim Jong-Sung, Soongsil University (2003-2004)
  • Prof. Park Chan-Gil, Ewha University (2004-2005)
  • Prof. Suh Kyung-Hee, Kwangju University (2006-2007)
  • Prof. Suk-Ku Rhee, Yonsei University (2010-2011)
  • Prof. Watanabe Naoki, Musashi University (2011-2012)
  • Prof. Hyungki Shin, Yonsei University, Fulbright Scholar (2016-2017)

  • Prof. Hayiyan Yin, Nanjing University (2019-2020)