PhD, University of Chicago, 2021; Teaching Fellow in the Department of Anthropology and the College)
Dissertation Title: Manufacturing “Korea” in China: The Coproduction of Commodity Value and Nationalist Imaginaries in the Chinese Kimchi Industry
Heangjin Park’s research and teaching interests are broadly concerned with the global circulation of commodities, industrial production and distribution of food, and nationalism in contemporary Northeast Asia.
Park’s dissertation, Manufacturing “Korea” in China: The Coproduction of Commodity Value and Nationalist Imaginaries in the Chinese Kimchi Industry, explores the material, semiotic, and logistical making of “Koreanness” in kimchi from the perspectives of kimchi manufacturers and distributors in China. Based on 13 months of fieldwork in a kimchi factory in Qingdao, China, his dissertation reveals how Korean-Chinese (chosŏnjok) entrepreneurs reflect on and respond to the changing economic and political conditions across China and South Korea. By attending to the nationalist worldviews embedded in the commodity supply chain, his research explores how the mobilities of commodities, people, and capital are coordinated for overcoming and performing the distance between “Korea” and “China.”
Currently, he is participating in the project “Logistics in the Making of Mobile Worlds” with Julie Chu, Jennifer Cole, and Jack Mullee, a multi-year collaborative research project funded by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society. As a Teaching Fellow in the College and the Department of Anthropology, he teaches the Social Science Core Sequence “Self, Culture, and Society” and Anthropology courses on Business and Logistics.