Jeongsu Shin

Jeongsu Shin

Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Korean Studies

JRHH 308
As an ethnographer of Korea, Jeongsu Shin’s work has been shaped by interdisciplinary conversations in Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. Her recent work, Worldly Ecologies: Landscape, History, and Environmental Politics on Jeju Island, examines the rise of environmental social movements and ecological research on Jeju Island, South Korea as these have informed new articulations of Jeju identity anchored in a long history of relations connecting humans, non-humans, and the landscape itself in the making of Jeju ecologies. Through ethnographic collaborations with Jejuan villagers, environmental scientists, and NGOs working on the island, Jeongsu elucidates the connections of contemporary experiences of and reflections on the Jejuan landscape with a longer regional history spanning (internal-) colonialism, Japanese colonialism, the Cold War and civilian massacres, and neoliberal development. In this regard, Jejuan ecologies are registers of struggles over Jejuanness and Jejuan autonomy that continue to the present day. Jeongsu’s research details the ways communities mobilize history and shape a politics of justice and ethics of care in coordination with their environment.
Her future project examines the production of “native honey” (t’ojong kkul). It explores how the interaction of Korean native species, environmental knowledge, human-nature relations, medical knowledge, and the distinctive history and techniques of Korean apiculture contribute to Korean native honey’s value and quality and shape its global circulation. The project also examines the cultural value of ‘nativeness’ in the context of South Korean environmentalism, capitalism, and the climate crisis.

Academic Credentials

2023 PhD University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
2011 MA Yonsei University
2004 BA Sogang University


AS 251- Contemporary Korean Culture