Core Faculty


Jisoo M. Kim is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures and Director of the Institute for Korean Studies at GW. She received her Ph.D. in Korean History from Columbia University. She is a specialist in gender and legal history of early modern Korea. Her broader research interests include gender and sexuality, crime and justice, forensic medicine, literary representations of the law, history of emotions, vernacular, and gender writing. She is the author of The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (University of Washington Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 James Palais Prize of the Association for Asian Studies. She is also the co-editor of The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation by JaHyun Kim Haboush (Columbia University Press, 2016). She is currently working on a new book project titled Suspicious Deaths: Forensic Medicine, Dead Bodies, and Criminal Justice in Chosŏn Korea.


Deputy Director

Gregg A. Brazinsky is Professor of History and International Affairs and Deputy Director of GW Institute for Korean Studies. His research seeks to understand the diverse and multi-faceted interactions among East Asian states and between Asia and the United States. He is the author of Nation Building in South Korea: Koreans, Americans, and the Making of a Democracy (University of North Carolina Press, 2007) and Winning the Third World: Sino-American Rivalry during the Cold War (University of North Carolina Press, 2017). He served as Interim Director of the GW Institute for Korean Studies during the Spring 2017 semester.


Senior Advisor

Young-Key Kim-Renaud is Professor Emeritus of Korean Language and Culture and International Affairs, previous chair of the East Asian Languages and Literatures Department at GW. She is also currently Senior Advisor to GW Institute for Korean Studies. She is the founder of the annual Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium at GW and is the past President of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics and previous Editor-in-Chief of its journal, Korean Linguistics. Her publications on Korean language, linguistics, writing, and culture include 11 books and numerous book chapters and journal articles. She received a Republic of Korea Jade Order of Cultural Merit in 2006 and the Bichumi Grand Award from Samsung Life Foundation as a Woman of the Year 2008 for Public Service. (See her most recent CV


Core Faculty (Alphabetical Order)

Celeste Arrington is Korea Foundation Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at GW. She specializes in comparative politics, with a regional focus on the Koreas and Japan. Her research and teaching focus on law and social movements, the media, lawyers, policy processes, historical justice, North Korean human rights, and qualitative methods. She is also interested in the international relations and security of Northeast Asia and transnational activism. She is the author of Accidental Activists: Victims and Government Accountability in South Korea and Japan (2016) and has published in Comparative Political Studies, Law & Society Review, Journal of East Asian Studies, Pacific Affairs, Asian Survey, and the Washington Post, among others. She received a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, an MPhil from the University of Cambridge, and an A.B. from Princeton University. She is currently writing a book that analyzes the role of lawyers and legal activism in Japanese and Korean policies related to persons with disabilities and tobacco control.


Immanuel Kim is Korea Foundation and Kim-Renaud Associate Professor of Korean Literature and Culture Studies. Prior to working at the George Washington University, he was Assistant Professor in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies at Binghamton University (SUNY).  Dr. Kim received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. He is an authority on North Korean literature and film and is the author of a recent book on North Korean literature, Rewriting Revolution: Women, Sexuality, and Memory in North Korean Fiction (University of Hawaii Press, 2018).


Insung Ko is Teaching Assistant Professor in Korean Language in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the George Washington University. He used to teach Korean language at various levels at Washington University in St. Louis, Middlebury School of Korean, and University of Michigan. His research interests are in Korean linguistics, second language phonetics, second language pedagogy, and language testing. 


Miok D. Park is Assistant Professor of Korean Linguistics and Language in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at the George Washington University. Before coming to the George Washington University, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at Georgetown University. She has a number of publications on the topics of syntax-semantics interface including clause types, agreement in Korean, and interpretation of the subject in jussive clause types. Her most recent research is on honorifics and politeness in imperative clauses.


Roy Richard Grinker is Professor of Anthropology, International Affairs, and Human Sciences at the George Washington University. He is a cultural anthropologist specializing in ethnicity, nationalism, and psychological anthropology, with topical expertise in autism, Korea, and sub-Saharan Africa. He has conducted research on a variety of subjects: ethnic relationships between farmers and foragers in the Ituri forest, Democratic Republic of Congo; North and South Korean relations, with special emphasis on North Korean defectors’ adaptation to South Korea life; and the epidemiology of autism. In addition, he has written a biography of the anthropologist Colin M. Turnbull. He was Interim Director of the GW Institute for Korean Studies for the Fall 2016 semester.


Back to Personnel page