The Korea Institute is pleased to announce the Global Korean Diasporas Postdoctoral Fellow for academic year 2021-22: Dr. Bo kyung Blenda Im.
Bo kyung Blenda Im is an ethnomusicologist who specializes in popular culture and religion in Korea and the Korean diaspora. She deploys a combination of ethnographic, historical, and music-analytical methods to unsettle Western colonial epistemologies – particularly neo-Orientalist constructions of “Asia” – that condition the terms of inclusion and exclusion in the modern world. Her interdisciplinary research primarily addresses music studies and actively dialogues with Korean studies, ethnic studies, religious studies, and anthropology. During the 2021-22 academic year Blenda will work on her book project, Transpacific Belonging: Race, Music, and Faith in Seoul, which reconceives transpacific musical modernity through a restorative chronopolitical framework. Based on extensive fieldwork in Seoul, the monograph examines the co-production of ethnoracial and religious subjectivity in Korean Christian engagements with black gospel and contemporary worship music.
Prior to joining the Korea Institute as a Global Korean Diasporas Postdoctoral Fellow, Blenda worked at Yale University, where she held appointments as a Postdoctoral Associate in the Institute of Sacred Music (2020-21) and as a Lecturer in Ethnomusicology (2020), and taught courses hosted by the Council on East Asian Studies, the Divinity School, and the Music Department. She received her PhD in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pennsylvania (2019). Blenda’s research has been supported through various grants and fellowships, such as the Fulbright U.S. Student (IIE) Research Award and the Y. H. Park Fellowship in Korean Studies at Penn. Her work has been recognized with prizes from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Society for Ethnomusicology, the Association for Korean Music Research, and the Society for Christian Scholarship in Music.
The Global Korean Diasporas Postdoctoral Fellowship is generously supported by the Jeffrey D. and Jean K. Lee Fund at the Korea Institute, Harvard University.