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Junyoung Verónica Kim is Assistant Professor of Visual Culture and Media, and Latin American Culture and Literature, in the Department of Hispanic Languages & Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. Before coming to Pitt, she taught at the University of Iowa and the State University of New York (SUNY), Stony Brook. She has served on the Executive Board of the Cultural Studies Association (CSA) and is currently an Executive Committee Member of the Asia and the Americas Section of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA).
Her current book project Asia/Latin America: The Politics of Area Studies explores the cultural and migratory flows between Latin America and Asia by looking at cinema, literature, and Asian immigration history in Latin America. This study reveals that the cultural, historical, sociopolitical, economic, and epistemological relations between Latin America and Asia – which have often been neglected – are an inherent aspect of Latin American history, society and culture, and provide a crucial and critical perspective on discussions of re-imagining Latin America today. By focusing on an inter/cross-disciplinary study of the diverse relations between Latin America and Asia, this project highlights the need to reformulate the area studies approach, which has become the dominant model of knowledge production in the study of both Latin America and Asia. It contends that the area studies framework, along with the historical, sociopolitical, and economic context of the Cold War, imperialism, and late capitalism in which it was developed, has in part produced the obscuring and silencing of Asian and Latin American relations, as well as the experiences and bodies of those who incorporate these marginalized and disavowed relations. This in turn directly relates to the racialization, expulsion, marginalization, persecution, and even commodification of Latin Americans of Asian descent. Thus, by drawing connections between geopolitics (e.g. Cold War, imperialism, globalization), epistemology (e.g., area studies, ethnic studies), and biopolitics (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender), Asia/Latin America contributes to the current discussions on empire and the international division of labor, the Global South project, differential racializations, neoliberal technology of multicultural governance, and the politics of knowledge/lack of knowledge.
Professor Kim’s on-going research also involves two other projects: one on Orientalism in Latin American Film and Literature, and the other on the trope of the border in Latin American and South Korean cinemas.