Dr. Eunsong Kim has been selected as an awardee in the 2019 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship competition, sponsored by the Ford Foundation and administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Professor Kim is an assistant professor of English at the College of Social Science and Humanities. She joined the Department of English in Fall 2017. Her areas of specialization include visual studies, Poetics, Critical Gender Studies, Asian American literature, US Multi-Ethnic literature, and New Media Studies. Professor Kim co-founded the arts forum, Contemptorary, a magazine supported by the Andy Warhol Art Writers Grant Program, which is dedicated to featuring, interviewing and archiving the work of artists of color.
In Spring 2018, Professor Kim organized a Barrs Lecture sponsored by the Department of English and CSSH, featuring Lisa Lowe, the Samuel Knight Professor of American Studies at Yale University. In preparation for Lowe’s visit to campus, Kim incorporated Lowe’s book The Intimacies of Four Continents into her undergraduate and graduate courses. Kim portrays literature to students as a vibrantly engaged and ongoing study, and as a conversation that continues as well as being historicist. She finds it vital that students of all levels — as well as faculty, staff — think of literature as debates and active conversations rather than settled or passive material.
Professor Kim’s current scholarship examines the relations among modernist literature, art, race, and the politics of property. Pulling from Cheryl Harris’s “Whiteness as Property” and legal scholarship, her monograph project examines how aesthetic forms to operate as protected racial property. What is considered experimental literature is a racialized discourse, Kim said, because the concept of innovation, akin to property, is operating in a frame of whiteness. A legal framework can tease out what happens in the discourse of forms, and it can also tell us about how art is conceptualized.
Professor Kim is currently working on a book that moves from the idea of property to thinking about the ways that museum collections are built. She considers the politics related to collection-building in poetry collections and institutions. Kim was invited to present her research at the Research for Material Culture Leiden, Netherlands, at a museum studies conference titled “Keywords for a Future Practice.” In her future work, professor Kim hopes for consistent critical engagement with the terms diversity and inclusion to help create a continuum for conversations about inclusion and diversity.