Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College


Hyun Sook Kim

Hyun Sook Kim

Professor of Sociology
Chair, Department of Sociology

Ph.D., M.A., Sociology, New School for Social Research
B.S., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Main Interests

My current intellectual and personal interests:

human-nature dialectics; social ecology
postcolonial approach to rethinking sociology
transnational migration and cross-border social ties
buddhist social theory and philosophy
subjugated paths of modernity

Research Interests

Previous Research & Writing:

state violence and massacres
war, gender and sexuality; "comfort women" and military sex work
nation-state and gender conflicts
politics of war memorials
politics of truth and reconciliation in/of Korean and Vietnam wars
transnational feminist sociologies

Teaching Interests

I teach courses on Inequality & Social Change

Current repertoire
FYS Restoration
Soc190 Self & Society
Soc200 Social Movements
Soc210 Inequality
Soc240 Conflict & Genocide
Soc270 Asians & America
Soc290 Immigration
Soc310 Beyond Global Feminism (about Postcolonial and Transnational Feminist Thought)
Soc403 Proseminar (about Global Cultures or Democracy or Development)

Other courses taught
FYS Class Matters
Soc301 Sociological Theory
Soc230 Race & Ethnicity
Soc330 Money, Sex & Power
Soc090 Cultures, Communities & Change (taught in Vietnam & Cambodia)
Soc298 Contemporary Bhutanese Society (about modernity, monarchy and democracy)
Soc298 Practicum: fieldwork on "Bhutanese ways of knowing"


Sample Publications:

2005. "Decolonizing the 'Self' & 'Other': Black, Postcolonial and Transnational Feminist Theories." The Handbook on Feminist Research: Theory and Paxis, edited by Sharlene Hesse-Biber (Sage, 2005).

2005. Special Issue on "Gender-Sexuality-State-Nation." Gender & Society 19(2), (April), Co-edited with Jyoti Puri.

2005. "Conceptualizing Gender-Sexuality-State-Nation: An Introduction." Gender & Society, 19(2), (April), Co-authored with Jyoti Puri.

2005. "History and Memory: The 'Comfort Women' Controversy." Bodies in Contact: Rethinking Colonial Encounters in World History. Edited by Antoinette Burton and Tony Ballantyn (Duke University Press).

Student Projects

Sociological Photography: Karl Rivera (Class of 2016), a Visual Sociology independent major, and I are collaborating to create 'sociological photography' of urban inequality. This is funded by a Mellon summer 2014 research grant.

Liberation Theology: Heather Wilson (Class of 2013) worked with me to explore the theme of 'divided societies' and religion. She traced the rise of Palestinian liberation theology and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  A Mellon summer 2013 research grant funded this project.

Development and Democracy in new Bhutan: I guided 11 Wheaton students' projects in Thimphu, Bhutan, in fall 2011. They creatively explored the themes of: Gross National Happiness & Education, Social Media & Democracy in Bhutan, The meaning of new citizenship, Bilingualism and nationalism among the Bhutanese, Teaching English to young Buddhist nuns, Special Olympics, Thimphu City's introduction of waste management, Gender and Bhutan's development path.

Caribbean Teacher-Migration to the U.S.: Four students participated in a multi-year, collaborative research project led by Brenda Wyss (Economics) and me. The project was funded by Mars and Hood summer research grants.