Korean Politics Specialist Joining Mānoa Faculty in the Fall

image: Myungji YangA 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.