Hyaeweol Choi (she, her, hers)

Professor Hyaeweol Choi
Professor; C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies;
Joint appointment with the Department of Gender, Women's and Sexuality Studies;
Director of the Korean Studies Research Network
PhD, State University of New York, Buffalo, 1993
105 Gilmore Hall
Office Hours: 
Tues 3-5pm; Wed 3:30-4:30 pm (Spring 2022)
Curriculum Vitae: 

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

Dr. Choi's research interests are in the areas of modern Korea, gender history, religions, food and body, and transnational history. She has published books and articles on such topics as the genealogy of modern womanhood that emerged from the encounters between Koreans and American Protestant missionaries in the early twentieth century (Gender and Mission Encounters in Korea: New Women, Old Ways, 2009), the historical development of the “New Woman” in colonial-era Korea (New Women in Colonial Korea, 2013), the evolution of the concept of "domesticity" within the context of encounters between Christian missionaries and women in Asia and the Pacific (co-ed., Divine Domesticities: Christian Paradoxes in Asia and the Pacific, 2014) and an integrated history of gender in East Asia (co-author, Gender in Modern East Asia, 2016). Her latest book, Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-era Korea (2020), reexamines the modern history of women in Korea from a transnational perspective by focusing on the dynamic flow of ideas, materials and people across national boundaries that have triggered new gender norms and bodily practices.

Her more recent research focuses on the fluid boundaries between the sacred and the secular, religion and emotional communities, the role of religions in public life, and the intersections of food, body and spirituality in the age of globalization.

Research Interests: 
Modern Korea, Gender and Empire, Missiology, Transnational History
Selected Publications: 


  • Gender Politics at Home and Abroad: Protestant Modernity in Colonial-era Korea (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)
  • 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)

  • “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
Courses Taught: 
  • RELS:2674  Food Body & Belief: A Global Perspective
  • RELS:1670  Korea in the World
  • RELS:1725  Gender/Religion in Korean Visual Culture
  • RELS:5100  Teaching and Public Engagement
Service and Public Engagement: 
  • 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: 
  • 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).