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Homescapes/Warscapes: Kim Park Nelson

Monday, Nov 7, 2016 @ 10:30 am - 6:30 pm

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10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Humanities Interim Classroom Facility 100k

Native Informant: History and Community Building as a Within Group Researcher of Korean Adoptees

In this conversation, Kim Park Nelson will discuss the history of Korean adoption studies in the context of the Korean adoptee scholar and researcher, highlighting on how critical Korean adoption studies emerged as a field in reaction to a long tradition of behavioral science research that focused on expanding the practice of transracial and transnational adoption. She will discuss responsible research design and community based methods in relation to her within-group research in the Korean adoptee community.


1:50 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Social Ecology II 1306

The Land of 10,000 Adoptees: Landscapes of Multiculturalism in the Korean American Adoptee Homeland

In this conversation, Kim Park Nelson will discuss Korean adoptee experiences in Minnesota, home to the largest per-capita population of Korean adoptees in the United States. Her analysis will focus on ways in which this population is failed by popular forms of multiculturalism that celebrate diversity. Using ethnographic materials, this presentation explores Korean adoptee experiences in Minnesota and the many historical and sociocultural structures that have produced the high concentration of Korean adoptees in Minnesota.


5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Humanities Gateway 1010

Korean Adoptee Birth Search, “Real Family,” and Direct-to–Consumer Genetic Testing

In this lecture, Kim Park Nelson will discuss birth search as a core part of collective Korean adoptee cultures and focus on the recent phenomenon of birth search through commercial DNA testing companies such as 23 and Me. She will explore issues and problems around using direct-to-consumer genetic testing as a birth search methodology for adoptees, as well as the significance of test results for Korean adoptees.


Kim Park Nelson is an educator and researcher whose work uses adoption as a lens to understand race and culture. Her work has contributed to building of the field of Adoption Studies and Korean Adoption Studies in the U.S. and internationally. She was the three-time lead organizer for the International Symposia on Korean Adoption Studies, which took place in Seoul in 2007, 2010, and 2013. Professor Park Nelson’s book, Invisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences and Racial Exceptionalism was published by Rutgers University Press in Spring 2016 and is based on her ethnographic research exploring the many identities of adult Korean adoptees, as well as the cultural, social, historical, and political significance of sixty years of Korean adoption to the United States. She is an associate professor of American Multicultural Studies at the Minnesota State University at Moorhead. She has a Ph.D. in American studies from the University of Minnesota.




Monday, Nov 7, 2016
10:30 am - 6:30 pm