Although UCLA houses the nation's youngest program in this academic specialty among major research universities, its Korean Studies program is already recognized as one of the best. Its coverage of traditional Korean humanities is the strongest of any university outside of Korea and includes renowned experts in Korean classical and modern literature, Buddhism, cultural and intellectual history, and linguistics.
Coverage of Korea in the Social Science division is growing rapidly, with specialists recently appointed in sociology and anthropology, and scholars with Korean interests are located in various other departments and professional schools throughout the university. UCLA's Korean Studies scholars are the most prolific group of researchers in the country, with scores of ground-breaking publications to their credit.
Their research covers a broad spectrum of subjects, from traditional to contemporary topics, and encompasses a number of critical issues (please see research areas of faculty listed below). UCLA faculty have also assumed active leadership roles in the major national academic societies for Korean Studies, including the Committee on Korean Studies of the Association of Asian Studies and the Northeast Asia Council.
Core faculty participating in the Center are listed below, followed by their departmental and institutional affiliations, Korean Studies research interests, and major publications related to Korea.
- Jenny Yoo, Assistant Director, Center for Korean Studies
- Robert Buswell, Director, Center for Buddhist Studies
- Sanghun Cho, Associate Librarian, Korean Collection
- Lisa Kim Davis, Assistant Professor of Geography
- John Duncan, Director, Center for Korean Studies
- Christopher P. Hanscom, Associate Professor of Korean Literature
- Burglind Jungmann, Professor of Art History
- Namhee Lee, Associate Professor of Modern Korean History
- Peter Lee, Professor Emeritus of Korean & Comparative Literature
- Sung-Deuk Oak, Dongsoon Im and Mija Im Chair
Associate Professor of Korean Christianity
- Kyeyoung Park, Associate Professor of Anthropology
- Sung-Ock Sohn, Professor of Korean Language
- Timothy Tangherlini, Professor of Korean Folklore