St. Paul, Minnesota
I strongly identify as a Korean American (no hyphen) and am eager and enthusiastic about sharing Korean American culture with others. I grew up in Cerritos, CA, which is about 20% Korean American, so I never felt like an outsider or ashamed of my culture; in fact, I think the Korean aesthetic is one of the most beautiful in the world. During college I was probably the most hyperKorean ever – I was involved in Korean student groups, took every Korean language/culture/history course UCLA had to offer, and loved loved loved Korean food, music, and so on.
What a change when I moved to Champaign, Illinois for graduate school! Even though the University of Illinois has one of the highest concentrations of Korean students, it’s still a very, very white campus.
Now I live in St. Paul, Minnesota, which is home to fewer than 30,000 Koreans, more than half of whom are transracial, transnational adoptees. I’m an assistant professor of Library and Information Science, and I teach graduate courses such as Intro to LIS, children’s literature, and young adult literature. My research interests include representations of the Korean diaspora in children’s literature, children’s librarianship, social justice, transracial adoption, and Korean diasporic history. My dissertation is a critical analysis of representations of transracially adopted Koreans in children’s literature.
My experiential and academic foundations in Korean American culture greatly inform the issues I care about, how I invest my time and resources, and the substance of my work. I strive to use education as a tool for social change – to fight oppression, racism, social injustice, etc. towards Koreans. Want to know more? http://sarahpark.com/
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