Eleana J. Kim
PhD, Anthropology, New York University, 2007
MA, Anthropology and Program in Culture and Media, New York University, 2001
BA, English Literature, Brown University, 1994
Eleana Kim is associate professor of anthropology and core faculty in the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies. Her interests center around questions of nature and culture and the biological and the social in the production of personhood, social relations, and moral values. Her first project focused on transnational, transracial adoption from South Korea, and was based on eight years of ethnographic research among adult adoptees who had been adopted from South Korea between the 1950s and 1980s. The resultant book, Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging (Duke University Press, 2010), chronicles the emergence of a global network of adult adoptees and their relationship to the South Korean state which began to recognize them valuable members of the Korean diaspora at the turn of the millennium. It pursues theoretical questions connected to kinship and belonging and their contemporary elaborations and entanglements with global capitalism, state power, and transnational processes. In 2012, the book received the James B. Palais prize from the Association of Asian Studies and the Social Science Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies.
Her second book project, Making Peace with Nature: The Greening of the Korean Demilitarized Zone, supported by an ACLS/SSRC/NEH International Area Studies fellowship (2011-12), analyzes the transformation of the most heavily militarized border in the world into a space internationally recognized as a haven for biodiversity. This project engages with political ecology and STS approaches by theorizing temporality and hope in the production of ecological knowledge, and seeks to connect these processes with other global assemblages related to climate change and planetary futures.
Professor Kim received her Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from NYU in 2006. Following a Korea Foundation postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, she joined the faculty at the University of Rochester in 2007. She is a recipient of the University of Rochester's G. Graydon Curtis and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Non-tenured Member of the Faculty (2011) and was Wilmot Assistant Professor of the Social Sciences from 2011 to 2013. Her research has been funded by the Fulbright Commission, the Social Science Research Council, the American Council for Learned Societies, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Kim teaches courses on anthropological theory, media anthropology, ethnographic film, and environmental anthropology.
More information can be found on Eleana's UR Research page.
Fellowships, Honors & Awards
- Adopted Territory 2012 James B. Palais Prize for Best English-language book in Korean Studies, Association of Asian Studies
- 2012 Social Science Book Award, Asian American Studies
- ACLS/SSRC/NEH International Area Studies Fellowship 2011-2012
- 2011 G. Graydon Curtis and Jane W. Curtis Award for Excellence in Teaching by a Non-tenured Member of the Faculty, University of Rochester
- 2011-2013 Wilmot Assistant Professor of Social Sciences, University of Rochester
- 2006 Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, Center for Korean Studies, UCLA
- 2005 Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, NYU
- 2003 International Dissertation Research Fellowship, Social Science Research Council
- 2003 Fulbright Institute of International Education Fellowship
- 2002 Social Science Research Council Program in International Migration, Minority Summer Dissertation Workshop
- 2001 James West Memorial Fund for Human Rights Grant
Courses Offered (subject to change)
- ANT 225 Social Uses of Media
- ANT 229 War and Migration
Past Courses Taught
- ANT 101 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
- ANT 104 Contemporary Issues in Anthropology: Animals in Anthropology
- ANT 205 Theories and Debates in Anthropology
- ANT 223 Landscape, Nature, Environment
- ANT 301 Advanced Topic Seminar: "Nature"
- ANT 307 Advanced Topic Seminar: Posthumanism
- Adopted Territory: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Politics of Belonging. Duke University Press, 2010.
Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters
- “Producing Missing Persons: Korean Adoptee Artists Imagining (Im)Possible Lives.” In War Baby/Love Child: Mixed Race Asian American Art. Wei-Ming Dariotis and Laura Kina, eds. University of Washington Press, 2013.
- “Human Capital: Transnational Korean Adoptees and the Neoliberal Logic of Return.” Journal of Korean Studies 17(2): 299-327, 2012.
- “The Origins of Korean Adoption: Cold War Geopolitics and Intimate Diplomacy.” Working Paper Series (WP 09-09). U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS, Johns Hopkins, 2009.
- “Wedding Citizenship and Culture: Korean Adoptees and the Global Family of Korea.” Social Text 74, 2003.
Academic Blog Posts
- "Making Peace with Nature: The Greening of the Korean Demilitarized Zone," ENGAGEMENT, the blog of the Anthropology and Environment Society of the American Anthropological Association, June 2013.
- "Returning Cranes to North Korea," SINO-NK blog, September 2012.
- "International Adoptions From South Korea: Lessons from 1966," For the POV website of In the Matter of Cha Chung Hee, a documentary by filmmaker Deann Borshay Liem, nationally broadcast on PBS, September 2010.