Dr. Joo Ok Kim

International & Interdisciplinary Studies - American Studies
Assistant Professor
Primary office:
213K Bailey Hall
University of Kansas
1440 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence, Kansas 66045


Joo Ok Kim is assistant professor of American Studies and Latina/o Studies at the University of Kansas. She is associate faculty at KU's Center for East Asian Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Latinx Studies Initiative. Professor Kim earned her Ph.D. in Literature and Cultural Studies at the University of California, San Diego, her M.A. in English at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and her B.A. in English at KU. From 2013-15, Professor Kim was UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her interdisciplinary research and teaching interests focus on race and the Korean War, Latina/o studies, Asian American studies, transpacific and transnational studies, and literary and cultural studies. Her book project, Warring Genealogies: Race, Kinship, and the Korean War, examines the racial legacies of the Korean War through Chicano cultural production and U.S. archives of white supremacy. Her work can be found in the Journal of Asian American Studies, Verge: Studies in Global Asias, south: a scholarly journal, and MELUS (forthcoming). Professor Kim's research has been funded by the Ford Foundation, the University of California President's Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, the Library of Congress, and the American Philosophical Society.


My research examines the racial legacies of the Korean War through literature and culture.

Research Interests

  • Korean War
  • Latina/o Studies
  • Asian American Studies
  • Transpacific and Transnational Studies
  • Empire
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Literary and Cultural Studies
  • Popular culture
  • Prison Studies

Selected Publications

Kim, Joo Ok. “‘“Training Guatemalan Campesinos to Work Like Korean Peasants”: Taxonomies and Temporalities of East Asian Labor Management in Latin America.’” Verge: Studies in Global Asias, vol. 3, no. 2, University of Minnesota, Sept. 2017, pp. 195–216, doi:10.5749/vergstudglobasia.3.2.0195.
Kim, Joo Ok. “‘Declining Misery: Rural Florida’s Hmong and Korean Farmers.’” South: A Scholarly Journal, vol. 49, no. 1, The University of North Carolina Press, 2016, pp. 25–37, doi:10.1353/slj.2016.0028.
Kim, Joo Ok. “‘Sleuth Cities: East L.A., Seoul, and Military Mysteries in Martin Limón’s Slicky Boys and The Wandering Ghost.’” Journal of Asian American Studies, vol. 17, no. 2, Johns Hopkins University Press, May 2014, pp. 199–228, doi:10.1353/jaas.2014.0015.

  • Listen to Margaret Kelley discuss it's not just fear of violence or belief in the second amendment and gun rights prompting gun ownership.  On this episode of WhenExpertsAttack she explains that concerns about Armageddon and "supernatural" evil also are at play.  
  • Congratulations to Bobby Cervantes for being awarded the Harry Middleton Fellowship in Presidential Studies!
  • Read about Afro-Puerto Rican illustrator Eric Velasquez in this piece written by William García-Medina for Teaching For Change.
  • Geoffrey Newman did a podcast for the journal Kansas History that was broadcast on 91.9 KSDB-FM.  It is available online here.
  • Congratulations to Sam Steuart for being named KU's 20th Truman scholar!
  • This article, written by Geoffrey Newman, was published in the August edition of the Kansas History Journal. Congratulations Geoffrey!
  • Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate Kathryn Vaggalis for being awarded the American Studies Association's 2018 Gene Wise-Warren Susman Prize!
  • KU-AUMI InterArts was recently featured by the Commons in a video on improving inclusive communities at KU. You can watch the video, which features our own Sherrie Tucker amongst other founders of the movement at KU, and learn more about AUMI here!
  • Congratulations to Professor Robert Warrior on being elected to a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
  • This articlewritten by Ph.D. candidate Hannah Bailey, was published in the latest edition of Soundings: An Interdisciplinary Journal. Congratulations, Hannah!
  • We would like to recognize Patrick Sumner, 2005 alumni, for his work in this article about the defacement of the John Brown memorial in the Quindaro area of Kansas City, Kansas.
  • Please read this article about Professor Robert Warrior titled: Native scholar uncomfortably at home in American studies field.
  • Congratulations to Daniel Carey-Whalen, an alumni that was recently promoted as UTEP's Centennial Museum director.
  • Congratulations to Josh Parshall, an alumni who was recently featured in this article.
  • How a motion-tracking musical software is breaking down barriers for people with disabilities: click here to read more about the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI), a one-of-a-kind piece of inclusive technology that promotes musical improvisation. The article recognizes Professor Sherrie Tucker, who started AUMI jam sessions and helped to bring the grant and symposium for it to Lawrence. Written by Omar Sanchez
  • KU Special Education Department: With Ray Pence
  • Tribute Or Tribulation? How do we commemorate history? What is the best way to remember a conflicted and painful past? And who gets to decide? Listen here »
Upcoming Events
Hall Center Humanities Lecture Series

A forum for interdisciplinary dialogue between renowned speakers, the university and the surrounding communities.
Schedule of Lectures


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
Follow us:

Twitter Facebook


Far Above - The Campaign for KansasGive to American Studies

KU Today