Drawing on the findings of an interdisciplinary collaborative study, Nancy will discuss the University of Illinois’s encounter with rapidly increasing numbers of Chinese and South Korean international undergraduate students beginning in the second half of the 2000s (The U of I is the U.S. public university with the largest number of international undergraduates). I will discuss how this transforming demography is affecting ideas about race, nation, and internationalization in the American university. I will pay particular attention to the intra-ethnic encounter of Korean Americans and transnational South Koreans.
Nancy Abelmann is Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (Humanities and Arts) and the Harry E. Preble Professor of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She writes on family, class, gender, education, and migration with a focus on South Korea and Korean/Asian America. She has published books on South Korean social movements; women and social mobility; and film; and on Korean Americans -- and most recently, The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation (2009). She is co-editor of No Alternative? Experiments in South Korean Education (2012) and of South Korea’s Education Exodus: The Life and Times of Early Study Abroad (under review); and co-author of Making Family Work: How Korean American Teens and Parents Navigate Immigrant America (in progress).