Korean Studies Research Hub

About the Research Hub

The Korean Studies Research Hub (KSRH) acknowledges the Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung Peoples of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the unceded land on which the University stands, and pay respect to Elders past, present, and emerging.

The KSRH is an inter-disciplinary virtual hub for collaborative research on Korean Studies at the University of Melbourne. Established with generous funding from the Academy of Korean Studies, the KSRH is designed to promote local and international engagement with Korea-related topics. Our activities include undertaking team-based research projects, hosting high profile speakers and visiting scholars, running seminar series and workshops, and fostering graduate research. Acting as a central venue within the University for Korea-related engagement, the KSRH is dedicated to enhancing the public profile of Korean studies in Melbourne, building research networks, and pursuing innovative, impactful partnerships and collaborations.

The KSRH is dedicated to fostering and supporting graduate research in Korean studies, through the following activities:

  • Supervision and mentorship
  • Providing bursaries for Korean Studies graduate research
  • Hosting annual graduate workshops
  • Running a Korean book club and K-film nights
  • Expanding the Korean collection at the University Library

Our researchers

Our researchers, working together across 4 Schools and Institutes at the University, have expertise in the areas of Korean migration to Australia, Korea-Australia relations, media and communication, business, urban planning, and culture.

Ms Jasmine Barrett, PhD Candidate

Jasmine is an AKS PhD candidate at the Asia Institute. Her research focuses on the development of the disability sector in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Her dissertation is tentatively titled, “Disability in the DPRK: Identity, social inclusion, and changing perceptions of disability”. Prior to joining the Asia Institute, Jasmine was an entrepreneur partnering with the Korean Federation for the Protection of the Disabled to create employment for people with disability in the DPRK.

Dr Daejeong Choi, Senior Lecturer in Management

Daejeong is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management and Marketing. He conducts research on human resource management systems, employee behaviours and outcomes, and work team leadership. Daejeong is developing a research project on global mobilities, focussing on Korean Australian immigrant workers, expatriates, and second-generation Korean Australians. More information...

Dr Jonathan Glade, Lecturer in Korean and Japanese Studies

Jonathan is a Lecturer in Korean and Japanese Studies at the Asia Institute. Jonathan’s research focuses on Korean culture from regional and global perspectives. His current research project looks at the globalisation of Korean and Japanese food and the ways in which food intersects with notions of nation and identity. Jonathan coordinates the class "Global Cultures of Japan and Korea," which explores Korean culture's global spread and impact. More information...

Dr Ryan Gustafsson, Postdoctoral Fellow

Ryan is an Academy of Korean Studies (AKS) postdoctoral fellow at the Asia Institute. Ryan conducts research in social theory and continental philosophy (particularly phenomenology), focussing on Korean transnational adoption, migration, and diaspora. They also work on collaborative and individual research projects in the areas of gender studies and environmental philosophy. More information...

Dr Hyungmin Kim, Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning

Hyung Min is a Senior Lecturer in Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. His research focuses on the economic and spatial dynamics of cities, investigating the urban implications of global activities such as Foreign Direct Investment, international students, and international real estate investment. His research pays attention to globalisation of Korean urban development, South and North Korean cities, and Korean outward investment. More information...

Dr Wonsun Shin, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications

Wonsun is a Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, in the School of Culture and Communications. Wonsun’s research looks at young peoples’ engagements with digital media, privacy management, and parental mediation. She also conducts research on digital media use in advertising and its impacts on consumers. Wonsun is working on research projects investigating digital media use by Asian-Australians during COVID-19 and Korean consumers’ privacy concerns in dealing with online advertisers, and has extensive expertise in quantitative research methods. More information...

Dr Jay Song, Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies

Jay is a Korea Foundation Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies and Research Coordinator for the Migration, Gender, and Environment cluster at the Asia Institute. Song conducts research in the areas of North Korea, human rights and Asian migration. Her current research projects focus on Korean migration to Australia using complexity theory. More information...

Research projects

Korean migration to Australia

  • Korean adoption to Australia
  • Skilled and business migration
  • International students and holiday makers
  • Inter-generational bonds
  • Use of digital and social media

North Korean studies

  • Human security and environmental migration
  • North Korean refugees and migrants in China, South Korea and the UK
  • North Korean defector-activists and human rights activism
  • North Korean civil society in exile

Korea-Australia relations

  • Middle power diplomacy

Seminar series

The KSRH runs two seminar series during each semester.

Distinguished Speaker Series

The Distinguished Speaker Series invites high-profile public, non-academic speakers to deliver talks for the general public. Upcoming distinguished speaker seminars will be listed below.

5 November 2020: ‘The Future of #MeToo in Asia: A Conversation with Youngmi Choi’

Youngmi Choi is a poet and novelist from Seoul, Korea. Her poem, Monster (괴물), ignited the #MeToo movement in Korea in 2018. She has published six poetry collections (At Thirty, the Party was Over, Treading on the Pedals of Dream, To the Pigs, Life that has yet to Arrive, Things Already Hot, and What will not come again), and penned two novels (Scars and Patterns, and The Garden of Bronze). Youngmi received the Isu Literary Award for To the Pigs, and the 2018 Sex Equality Award.

Date: 5 November 2020


  • Youngmi Choi (novelist and poet)
  • Dr Jay Song (Senior Lecturer in Korean Studies, Asia Institute)
  • Dr Ryan Gustafsson (Postdoctoral Fellow, Asia Institute)

Korean Studies Seminar Series

The Korean Studies Seminar Series invites local and international academics to present papers on their research. Upcoming seminars will be listed below.

18 March 2021: ‘Policy Transfer as Transcoding: The Context of German-Korean Research on Transformation’

Date: 18 March 2021


  • Professor Eun-Jeung Lee (Freie Universitaet Berlin)
  • Dr Jay Song (University of Melbourne)

Professor Eun-Jeung Lee is the Director of the Institute of Korean Studies and the Graduate School of East Asian Studies at the Freie Universität Berlin. She is a Member of the German-Korean Advisory Council for Unification. In 2019, the South Korean government bestowed Professor Lee with the Order of Civil Merit (Moran Medal) for her work in the field of peace and unification.

  • 15 April 2021: Professor Vladimir Tikhonov (University of Oslo): ‘Korea in the World: International Solidarity and Korean Modernity.’
  • 12 May 2021: Professor Sung Kyung Kim (Kyungnam University): ‘North Korean Women and their Meaning of Family in Sino-North Korea Borderland.’
  • 9 September 2021: Professor Namhee Lee (UCLA): seminar title TBC
  • Previous seminars

    • 27 March 2019: Mr Alek Sigley: ‘Everyday Life in North Korea: An Australian Foreign Student at Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang’
    • 15 May 2019: Dr Jay Song (University of Melbourne): ‘Climate Change and North Korean Environmental Refugees’
    • 31 May 2019: Associate Professor Eleana Kim (UC Irvine): ‘Koreans on the Move: Refugees, Migrants, Adoptees’
    • 4 September 2019: Mr Thae Yong Ho (fmr Minister of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the UK): ‘Conversation with a North Korean defector’
    • 12 April 2018: The Honourable Professor Gareth Evans (former.Foreign Minister of Australia and Chancellor of the Australian National University): ‘Australia, the Two Koreas and Asian Regional Security’
    • 4 July 2018: Mr Herve Lemahieu (Lowy Institute): ‘Asia Power Index’
    • 23 July 2018: Professor Peter McDonald (University of Melbourne): ‘The evolution of Australian migration policy’
    • 21 August 2018: His Excellency Mr Baeksoon Lee (Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Australia): ‘Inter-Korean Peace-building and Denuclearisation of North Korea’
    • 25 October 2018: Ms. Jean Lee (Chair of Korean Studies, Wilson Center): ‘Reporting North Korea’

Melbourne Asia Review Asia Institute webinar

An Asia Institute initiative

Date: 2 March 2021

Asian-Australians: quiet migration or immigration indigestion?


  • Dr Ryan Gustafsson (University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Qiuping Pan (University of Melbourne)
  • Dr Jay Song (University of Melbourne)

This webinar contrast the two case studies of Korean and Chinese migration to Australia and will mark the Melbourne Asia Review special edition on the place, voice and portrayal of Asian in Australia.

More information


In press

  • Kim, H. M. (In Press). “Foreign Direct Investment, enclaves and liveability: A case study of Korean activities in Hanoi, Vietnam,” in International Development Planning Review


  • Choi, J. and Kim, H. M. (2021). “State-of-the-art of Korean Smart Cities: A critical review of the Sejong Smart City Plan,” in H. M. Kim, S. Sabri and A. Kent (eds.,). Smart Cities for Technological and Social Innovation (1st ed.). London; San Diego; Cambridge; Oxford: Academic Press, pp. 51-72
  • Gustafsson, R. (2021). “Korean Transnational Adoption to Australia: ‘Quiet’ Migrants, Diaspora, and ‘Hometactics’,” in Melbourne Asia Review 5
  • Gustafsson, R. (2021). “Theorizing Korean Transracial Adoptee Experiences: Ambiguity, Substitutability, and Racial Embodiment,” in International Journal of Cultural Studies 24(2), pp. 309-324
  • Han, B., Yang, M., and Gustafsson, R. (2021). “The Social Exclusion of Child-Rearing Unwed Mothers in South Korea,” in Liamputtong, P. (ed.,). Handbook of Social Exclusion. Cham, Switzerland: Springer
  • Kim, H. M., Miao, J. and Phelps, N. (2021). “International Urban Development Leadership: Singapore, China and South Korea Compared,” in S. H. Park, H. B. Shin and H. S. Kang (eds.,). Exporting Urban Korea? Reconsidering the Korean Urban Development Experience (1st ed.), Oxon; New York: Routledge, pp. 131-146
  • Lee, H. and Song, J. (2021). “State-society relations in a pandemic: an Asian Australian perspective,” in Melbourne Asia Review 5
  • Shin, W. and Song, J. (2021). “What our survey found about effective COVID-19 communications in Asian Australian communities,” in Melbourne Asia Review 5


  • Glade, J. (2020). “Fracturing Literary Boundaries: Connecting with the Korean Peninsula in Postwar Japan,” in Yang, Y. S. (ed.,) Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean Literature (1st ed.) Routledge, pp. 116-127
  • Gustafsson, R. (2020). “Theorizing Korean Transracial Adoptee Experiences: Ambiguity, Substitutability, and Racial Embodiment,” in International Journal of Cultural Studies. July 2020
  • Kim, H. M. (2020). “International Real Estate Investment and Urban Development: An Analysis of Korean Activities in Hanoi, Vietnam,” in Land Use Policy 94, pp. 1-10
  • Song, J. (2020). “Civil and uncivil society: North Korean balloon warriors in South Korea,” in Melbourne Asia Review 1
  • Song, J. (2020). “The ‘Savage-Victim-Saviour’ Story Grammar of the North Korean Human Rights Industry,” in Asian Studies Review
  • Song, J. and Habib, B. (2020). “The hidden variable: environmental migration from North Korea,” in The Pacific Review


  • Glade, J. (2019). “Caught between empire and occupation: censorship, deimperialization, and Koreans in postwar Japan,” in Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 20(3), pp. 397-413
  • Kim, H. M. and O’Connor, K. (2019). “Foreign Direct Investment Flows and Urban Dynamics in a Developing Country: A Case Study of Korean Activities in Suzhou, China,” in International Planning Studies 24(2), pp. 125-139
  • Lee, E., Avgar, A., Park, W. and Choi, D. (2019). “The dual effects of task conflict on team creativity: Focusing on the role of team-focused transformational leadership,” in International Journal of Conflict Management, 30(1), pp. 132-154
  • Song, J. and Bell, M. (2019). “North Korean secondary asylum in the UK,” in Migration Studies 7(2), pp. 160-179
  • Song, J. and Denney, S. (2019). “Studying North Korea through North Korean migrants: lessons from the field,” in Critical Asian Studies 51(3), pp. 451-466
  • Yi, C. and Glade, J. (2019). “The Politics of Passing in Zainichi Cultural Production,” in Azalea: Journal of Korean Literature and Culture, 12(1), pp. 235-256