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Hayana Kim (김하야나)

A photograph of Hayana Kim

Hayana Kim (김하야나)

Assistant Professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Literature


350 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Road
Columbus OH 43210

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Areas of Expertise

  • Theatre, Drama, and Performance Studies


  • Ph.D. Northwestern University.

Hayana Kim is an interdisciplinary performance historian of twentieth and twenty-first century South Korea. Her research centers around cultures of democracy in post-Yusin South Korea. Her teaching is at the intersections of East Asian Studies, Asian Diaspora Studies, and Theatre and Performance Studies.

Kim is currently working on her book manuscript entitled, Embodying Democracies: The Gwangju Uprising, Women, and the Power of Mourning in South Korea. This project, which is based on extensive archival and ethnographic research, investigates the role of the body and affect in advancing democracy in South Korea. Placing women artists and activists at the center of her research, the work illuminates the profound impact grassroots women in Gwangju have had in facilitating a turn from dictatorship to democracy in South Korea, through which to offer a feminist and performative history of the Gwangju Uprising. 

Kim’s work has been recognized with multiple prestigious fellowships, receiving support from the Mellon/SSRC International Dissertation Research Fellowship (2018-19), Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship (2020-21), and Global Impacts Graduate Fellowship by the Roberta Buffett Institute for Global Affairs at Northwestern University (2021-22, declined). In 2022, her dissertation also received support from the University of Iowa’s Korean Studies Research Network (KoRN) in the form of a dissertation workshop, funded by the Korea Foundation.

Five publications based on her research have appeared or will appear in Asian Theatre Journal, a peer-reviewed journal (2021), and in edited collections published with the Cambridge University Press (2020), Chonnam National University (2020, in Korean), University of Michigan Press (forthcoming) and the Duke University Press (forthcoming). She is also the recipient of awards such as the International Federation for Theatre Research’s Helsinki Prize (2021), Association for Theatre in Higher Education/Association for Asian Performance’s Emerging Scholars Award (2020), and Association for Theatre in Higher Education/Performance Studies Focus Group’s Emerging Scholars Award (2017). Currently, she is the Graduate Student Representative for Association of Asian Performance (2022-24).

Public-facing scholarship is an essential part of her scholarship. In 2014 and 2015, she worked as a research assistant for the National Theatre Company of Korea’s production of Macbeth and King Lear. In 2017, she worked as research assistant for Dr. Dani-Snyder Young for the Chicago-based A-Squared Theatre and Halcyon Theatre’s production of American Hwangap. From 2018 to 2019, during her field research in South Korea, she wrote numerous op-eds and essays in Korean language newspapers and newsletters, giving a talk at the National Assembly, the legislative body of the Korean government, calling for the recognition of women’s contribution to Korean democracy. During this time, she also worked at the Ministry of Defense and at the Association of the Persons Wounded in the May 18 Democratization Movement, serving as a research assistant to a task force team to prepare the launching of the May 18 Democratization Movement Truth Commission. After returning to the US, she continues to publish both in Korean and in English, intending that her work reaches multilingual readers. She also engages with local communities, speaking, for example, annually at the HANA Center, one of the largest Korean non-profit community organizations in Chicago, sharing her research on cultures of democracy in South Korea.

Before coming to the Ohio State University, she taught in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Washington University in St. Louis; in the Performing Arts Department at Washington University in St. Louis; and, in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University. At the Ohio State University, she will teach courses such as “KOREAN 2451 Korean Literature in Translation” and “KOREAN 5455 Interdisciplinary Courses in Korean Art, Music, Film, and Theatre: Performing Korean Diasporas,” the latter of which is offered to students at Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, taught as part of Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) e-School.