Our Faculty

headshot of Sonja M. Kim

Sonja M. Kim

Director; Associate Professor, Department Chair

Institute for Asia and Asian Diasporas; Department of Asian and Asian American Studies


Sonja Kim finds medicine and its related practices instructive in revealing lived experiences of individuals and shifts in modes of governance, social relations, cultural beliefs, economic stratification, political rights and exercise of citizenship. Her earlier research examines maternal and infant health care work in twentieth century Korea. Her current projects explore moral imperatives ensconced in Korean medical institutions and management of the urban poor. Affiliated with the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) program, Citizenship, Rights and Cultural Belonging (CRCB) Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence, and the History Department, Kim teaches courses on and advises graduate students with interests in Korea and East Asia. She also serves on the editorial board of the Korean Journal of Medical History and Yonsei Journal of Medical History.


  • PhD, MA, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA, Yale University

Research Interests

  • Korea and Comparative East Asia
  • Medicine
  • Health
  • Gender
  • Race and Class
  • Education and Welfare

Teaching Interests

  • Korean and East Asian History
  • Gender; Migration; Race; Nation and Empire
  • History of Medicine; Science and Technology


  • Harpur College Internal Award, Faculty Mentoring Initiative, 2019 and 2020
  • Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award; AY 2016-17
  • IASH Faculty Fellowship; Spring 2016