A new professor of Korean politics will be on the UH Mānoa faculty in the fall when Prof. Myungji Yang joins the Department of Political Science. Yang comes to Hawaii after a year as a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Rhode Island College in Providence, Rhode Island. She is a 2012 graduate of Brown University, where she earned her Ph.D. in sociology. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees at Yonsei University.
At Brown, Yang’s studies concentrated on the political economy of development, comparative historical methods, and political sociology. Her dissertation is titled “The Making of the Urban Middle Class in South Korea and China: Nationalism, Modernity, and New Identities.”
During her first year at UH, Yang will be teaching courses on Korea under an existing “special topics” category and will be developing entirely new courses on Korean politics to be in place for the fall 2014 semester.
Yang is the first holder of the Center for Korean Studies-Korea Foundation Endowed Rotating Chair in Korean Studies, an innovative project designed to promote continual strengthening of Korean studies at Mānoa. The position is funded by an endowment created through a multiyear campaign during which the Center for Korean Studies raised one million dollars to match a challenge grant from the Korea Foundation.
With the support of the endowment, the Center will in coming years work with various arts, humanities, and social sciences departments in rotation to establish new tenure-track faculty positions in disciplines not currently taught at the Mānoa campus. The Department of Political Science was chosen to receive the first such position after a review of proposals submitted by interested Mānoa departments.