In 2019, James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies will award up to three (3) grants, each in an amount up to $3,000, to assist Penn graduate students in their research on Korea. Any student enrolled in a graduate degree program at Penn is eligible to apply. 

Kim Program Graduate Research Grant Application 2019

A completed application form and a faculty recommendation letter must be e-mailed to Michelle Silverio <> by 3:00 pm, Thursday, February 28, 2019. Award notifications will be e-mailed by mid-March.

2019–2020 Graduate Research Grant Recipients:

  • Jay Jo (Ph.D. candidate, Graduate School of Education) - Establishment of Global Education City in Jeju Island and Reformulation of Local Linguistic Landscape                                    Abstract: As a result of the governmental planning to satisfy the social demands of early study-abroad in the 2000s by presenting local alternatives, Jeju Global Education City was established in 2011 with the opening of three international schools. This study traces the trajectory of the rapidly shifting landscape through investigation of the semiotic processes of the politics of English education in contemporary South Korea. In this study, I plan to conduct ethnographic fieldwork to uncover the changes brought into the region through the establishment of Jeju Global Education City, the national project to facilitate transnational spaces for domestic students. I will investigate changes in displayed languages, visual, and material features of public signages and conduct qualitative interviews with residents on their lived-experiences of the reorganization of the local linguistic landscape.
  • Jin Kyeong Jung (Ph.D. candidate, Graduate School of Education) - Korean American Immigrants’ Lived Experiences at a Workplace
    Abstract: What are the experiences of Korean American immigrants who work in low-wage industries such as dry cleaning businesses? This research explores their language, literacy, identities, and lived experiences as part of the Korean diaspora. Research in Korean studies has not looked closely at how Korean Americans who did not have formal education opportunities in the U.S. after migrating from South Korea (re)construct their identities in relation to themselves and others at their workplaces. Using ethnographic methods, this research focuses on how Korean American immigrants leverage their historical, linguistic, and cultural resources in the diaspora.
  • Rolf Siverson (Ph.D. candidate, History) - Manchukuo Bureaucrats and the Formation of the South Korean Administrative State, 1953–1961
     Abstract: This project, which forms the basis of the third chapter of my dissertation, explores the careers of former Manchukuo bureaucrats in South Korea and how they refashioned elements of Manchukuo’s distinctive administrative culture as a new system of Cold War nationalism and developmentalism. I will utilize sources form the National Archives of (South) Korea, focusing on the National Civil Service Training Institute, where former Manchukuo bureaucrats served as headmaster and instructors. I analyze lectures and training materials to demonstrate both the cooptation and transformation of wartime Japanese administrative philosophy and practice into the foundation of the South Korean state.