Sonia Ryang

Sonia Ryang
PhD, Cambridge University, 1995
215 Macbride Hall
Curriculum Vitae: 
Select Publications/Projects: 
Research Interests: 
diaspora, ideology, langauge, love, food, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Asian America

Sonia Ryang is a social anthropologist whose research encompasses diverse topics including diaspora, identity, cultural logic of nation-states, ideology, and Marxism, among others. She holds the C. Maxwell & Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair of Korean Studies.

She is the author of five books in English and one in Japanese, editor of two volumes and co-editor of one. These titles include: North Koreans in Japan: Language, Ideology, and Identity (1997), Japan and National Anthropology: A Critique (2004), Love in Modern Japan: Its Estrangement from Self, Sex, and Society (2006), Writing Selves in Diaspora: Ethnography of Autobiographics of Korean Women in Japan and the United States (2008), and most recently Reading North Korea: An Ethnological Inquiry (2011).

Her next book, Eating Korean: Gastronomic Ethnography of Authenticity, will be published from the University of Hawaii Press in 2014.

For the past three years, Ryang worked with Southeast Asian immigrants in Des Moines, Iowa, and produced a health care access booklet in collaboration with the Office of Asian and Pacific Islanders, Department of Human Rights, the state of Iowa.

Ryang received her PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge in 1995. She was an associate professor of anthropology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland before joining the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Department of Anthropology in 2006. Ryang has served as the director of the UI Center for Asian and Pacific Studies and is currently the Director of Academic Programs, UI International Programs. She is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Anthropology.

Courses Taught: 

Anthropology and Contemporary World Problems
Disability and the Ethics of Care
Anthropology of Love
Korean Diaspora in the World
North Korea and Totalitarianism
Japan and Our Other Cultural Constructs
Ethnography and Auto/Biography