Hyaeweol Choi (she, her, hers)

Professor Hyaeweol Choi
Professor; C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies;
Chair of the Department of Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies;
Director of the Korean Studies Research Network
Education: 
PhD, State University of New York, Buffalo, 1993
Office: 
420 Jefferson Building
Phone: 
319-335-2160
Office Hours: 
T/TH 2-3 pm and by appointment (Fall 2022)
Curriculum Vitae: 

Dr. Choi joined the University of Iowa faculty in 2018.

Hyaeweol Choi (pronounced Heh-Wall Che) is a professor of Korean studies, gender history and religious studies. She holds the C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies at the University of Iowa. She is also the founding director of the Korean Studies Research Network (KoRN) and currently serves as Chair (DEO) of the Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies.

Her research interests are in the areas of gender, empire, modernity, religion, food and body, and transnational history. She has published books and articles on such topics as the genealogy of modern womanhood in Korea, the historical development of the “New Woman” in colonial-era Korea, the evolution of the concept of "domesticity" within the context of encounters between Christian missionaries and women in Asia and the Pacific, and the impact of transnational mobility on gender norms and bodily practices. Her current research project, entitled “Food and the Life Politics of Domesticity in Global Korea,” examines the domestic as the confluence of the local, public, global and environmental structures, aiming to shed new light on everyday gender politics and performance through food ethics and practices in the current age of excess, inequality and ecological crises.

To find moments of peace, happiness and gratitude, she enjoys cooking with her partner and doing yoga and meditation.

Research Interests: 
Modern Korea, Gender and Empire, Missiology, Food and Body, Global Asias
Selected Publications: 

     Books

  • The Oxford Handbook of East Asian Gender History, co-edited with Barbara Molony and Janet Theiss (contract with the Oxford University Press, 2023)
  • Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-era Korea (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)
  • Korean Women: A Sourcebook, co-edited with Kim Keong-il and Shin Kyung-A (Seoul:
    AKS Press, 2017), 326 pp.
  • Gender in Modern East Asia: An Integrated History, co-authored with Barbara Molony and Janet Theiss (Westview, 2016), 456 pp.
  • Divine Domesticities: Christian Paradoxes in Asia and the Pacific, co-edited with Margaret Jolly (Canberra: ANU Press, 2014), 519 pp.
  • New Women in Colonial Korea: A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 2013), 256 pp.
  • Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea: New Women, Old Ways (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009), 296 pp.

     Articles and Book Chapters  (Peer-Reviewed)

  • “Zen Buddhist Nuns Go Global: Temple Food in South Korea,” Food, Culture & Society.  
    DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2022.2047567 (online, 2022)
  • “The Nineteenth Century,” in Routledge Global History of Feminism, edited by Bonnie Smith and Nova Robinson (Routledge, 2022), pp. 105-18
  • “Crossing the Lines: Pak Indŏk, Christianity, and the Impulse to Claim New Space,” Journal of Korean Religions 12, no. 2 (October: 2021): 37-67
  • “The Sacred and the Secular: Protestant Christianity as Lived Experience in Modern Korea: An Introduction,” Journal of Korean Studies 25, no. 2 (Fall: 2020): 279-89
  • “Gender Relations in Colonial-Era Korea,” Cambridge History of Korea (forthcoming,
  • Cambridge University Press, 2023)
  • “Zen Buddhist Nuns Go Global: Temple Food in South Korea,” Food, Culture & Society.
    DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2022.2047567 (online, 2022)
  • “The Nineteenth Century,” in Routledge Global History of Feminism, edited by Bonnie
    Smith and Nova Robinson (Routledge, 2022), pp. 105-18
  • “Crossing the Lines: Pak Indŏk, Christianity, and the Impulse to Claim New Space,”
    Journal of Korean Religions 12, no. 2 (October, 2021): 37-67
  • “The Sacred and the Secular: Protestant Christianity as Lived Experience in Modern
    Korea: An Introduction,” Journal of Korean Studies 25, no. 2 (Fall, 2022): 279-89
    2018 “Transpacific Aspiration toward Modern Domesticity in Japanese Colonial-era Korea,”
  • “Transpacific Aspiration toward Modern Domesticity in Japanese Colonial-era Korea,” Journal of Women’s History 30, no. 4 (Winter 2018): 60-83
  • “Claiming Their Own Space: Australian Women Missionaries in Korea, 1891-1900,” Australian Historical Studies 48, no. 3 (August 2017): 416-432
  • “Missionary Home as a Pulpit: Domestic Paradoxes in Early Twentieth-Century Korea,” in Divine Domesticities: Christian Paradoxes in Asia and the Pacific, edited by Hyaeweol Choi and Margaret Jolly (Canberra: ANU Press, 2014), pp. 29-55
  • “Debating the Korean New Woman: Imagining Henrik Ibsen’s “Nora” in Colonial Era Korea,” Asian Studies Review 36 (March 2012): 59-77
  • “The Visual Embodiment of Women in the Korea Mission Field,” Korean Studies 34 (2010): 90-126
  • “‘Wise Mother, Good Wife’: A Trans-cultural Discursive Construct in Modern Korea,” Journal of Korean Studies 14, no. 1 (Fall 2009): 1-34
  • “A New Moral Order: Gender Equality in Korean Christianity,” in Religions of Korea in Practice, ed. Robert Buswell (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006), pp. 409-420
  • “Christian Modernity in Missionary Discourse from Korea, 1905-1910,” East Asian History 29 (June 2005): 39-68
Presentations: 
  • “Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-Era Korea,” a book talk, Penn State University, September 16, 2022
  • “A Gender History of Korea: Finding the Global in the Local,” Indiana University, April 6, 2022
  • Robert C. Staley Distinguished Visiting Professor in East Asian Studies, Arizona State University, April 15-19, 2019
  • Keynote Address, “A Quiet Revolt: Gender, Conversion and Emotional Communities in Modern Korea,” presented at the conference on the theme: "Emotions, Culture, Subjectivity in Korea," George Washington University, November 9-, 2018
  • “Transnational Domesticity in the Making of Modern Korea,” presented at the University
    of Toronto, November 13, 2017
  • “Transpacific Aspiration toward Modern Domesticity in Japanese Colonial-era Korea,”
    presented at Princeton University, October 18, 2017
  • “Gender and Global Christianities,” presented at the forum, “Modern World History:
    Gendering the Field,” Cambridge University, September 27-30, 2017
  • “Home/Away from Home: Travel, Gender and Race,” presented at the University of
    Tübingen, April 26, 2017
  • “A Modern Cult of Domesticity: Gender and Christian Modernity,” presented at Ecole
    des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, March 10, 2017
  • “Crossing the Lines: Korean Women, Christianity, and the Impulse to Claim New
    Space,” presented at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, March 22, 2017
  • “The Experience of "House" and "Home" in Colonial Korea,” presented at Ecole des
    Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, March 24, 2017
  • “Desires in Colonial Memories: Kisaeng, Assassin and New Woman,” presented at Ecole
    des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, March 24, 2017
Courses Taught: 

• "Gender and Sexuality in East Asia"
​​​​​• “Diversity and Power in the U.S.”
• “Food, Body and Belief: A Global Perspective”
• “Gender and Religion in Korean Visual Culture”
• “Korea in the World”
• “Gender in Korean History”
• “Korean Film: History, Society and Culture”
• “Korean Culture and Society”
• “Korean Film and Literature”
• “Women of Korea”
• “Contemporary Global Trends”
• “The Korean Literary Tradition: Representations of Women in Pre-Modern Korea”
• “Gender Identity in Contemporary Asia”
• “Korean Civilization”
• “Contemporary Korea”
• “Education in Asia”
• Korean Language Courses (“First-Year Korean”; “Second-Year Korean”; “Third-Year
  Korean”; “Advanced Reading and Writing”)

Service and Public Engagement: 
  • The 2023 Berkshire Conference of Women Historians Program Committee (2021-2022)
  • Chair of the Annual Conference Program Committee, Association for Asian Studies (2021-2022)
  • Board of Directors, Association for Asian Studies (2021-2022)
  • Vice-Chair of the Annual Conference Program Committee, Association for Asian
    Studies (2020-2021)
  • Steering Committee member of the Korean Religions Unit, American Academy of
    Religion (2020-2022)
  • James B. Palais Book Prize Committee, Northeast Asia Council, Association for
    Asian Studies  (2018-2019)
  • President, Korean Studies Association of Australasia (2016-2017)
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Korean Studies (2017-)
  • Korea Book Review Editor, Journal of Asian Studies (2009 – 2010)
  • President, Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (2008-2009)
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (2008 – 2009)
  • Member, Governor of Arizona’s Asian American Advisory Council (2003 – 2004)
Awards, Honors and Grants: 
  • Korea Foundation Grant. Awarded to support the Korean Studies Research Network
    (KoRN) at the University of Iowa and the Midwest (2022)
  • Korea Foundation Grant. Awarded to support the Korean Studies Research Network
    (KoRN) at the University of Iowa and the Midwest (2020-2021)
  • Major Project Funding, International Programs, University of Iowa. Awarded to help
    establish the Korean Studies Research Network (KoRN) (2019-2022)
  • Robert C. Staley Distinguished Visiting Professor in East Asian Studies, Arizona State University (2019)
  • Major Project Grant to help establish the Korean Studies Research Network (KoRN), UI International Programs (2019)
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Project Award (2014-2016)
  • Academy of Korean Studies Overseas Leading University Program for Korean Studies Grant (2011-2016)
  • Fulbright Research Award (2010)
  • Research Grant from the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies (2007)
  • The Korea Foundation Advanced Research Grant (2004-2005)
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipends (2004)