Hieyoon Kim

Assistant Professor of Korea Studies



1212 Van Hise Hall
Office Hours: Wednesday, 12:00-2:00


Areas of Expertise:

dissident culture; postcolonial archive and historiography; Korean and East Asian cinema


Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles


Before joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Hieyoon Kim taught at Brown University where, in addition to offering courses, she spent a year as the Sheridan Junior Faculty Teaching Fellow. At UW-Madison, she teaches a broad range of classes, including courses on Korean film and popular culture. When she is not working, she reads children’s picture books and translates some gems for small, independent publishers in the world. She is also an avid listener of various musical tastes: German Baroque music to K-pop.

Research Interests:

Hieyoon Kim is a scholar whose research focuses broadly on how media develops in and transforms political uncertainty. She is currently completing her book entitled Toward a New Cinema: Film and Political Changes in Cold War South Korea, which concerns the intersection of cinema and social movement as well as the shifting geopolitics of postcolonial Korea. The book examines a counter-hegemonic project of filmmaking and criticism that envisioned what she calls a “new cinema.” Combining archival research, oral history and film analysis, she traces how filmmakers, critics and educators challenged the old cinema, characterized by hegemonic, oppressive or unethical practices under the authoritarian state’s aegis. This project analyzes the dissident film practices that developed amid South Korea’s political turbulence from liberation through the 1980s, from independent filmmaking that rejected the mainstream completely to covert efforts to dismantle the system from within. Unlike the conventional narrative that identifies few declared forms of resistance against the authoritarian Cold War regime, her research claims that dissident struggles were present in the political fields constituted by films, the practices of production and circulation that propelled these films, and the platforms on which they were displayed.

Another area of her research considers the changing role of social media in urban activism across Asia, with a particular focus on South Korea.

Selected Publications:

Refereed Journal Articles

Edited Volumes

Courses Taught:

  • Archive and Ephemera: Through the Lens of Asia (Fall 2019)
  • Korean Popular Culture (Fall 2019)
  • The Two Koreas: Politics of Aesthetics (Spring 2019)
  • Picturing Korea: History and Memory in South Korean Cinema (Spring 2019)
  • K-pop: History, Politics, Culture (Fall 2018)