Abelmann is Associate Vice Chancellor for Research (Humanities, Arts and Related Fields) and the Harry E. Preble Professor of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Gender & Women’s Studies 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. Abelmann co-directs the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI, www.eui.uiuc.edu) and served as the director of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies from 2005-2008. She has published books on social movements in contemporary South Korea; women and social mobility in post-colonial South Korea; Korean America; and South Korean film; and most recently, The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation (Duke University Press, 2009). She is a co-editor of No Alternative? Experiments in South Korean Education (Berkeley: Global, Area, and International Archive / University of California Press, 2012) and of South Korea’s Education Exodus: The Life and Times of Early Study Abroad, forthcoming from the University of Washington Press. With psychologist Sumie Okazaki she is completing Making Family Work: How Korean American Teens and Parents Navigate Immigrant America based on field and survey research in Chicagoland. With Soo Ah Kwon, Tim Liao, and Adrienne Lo, she co-directs The American University Meets the Pacific Century research laboratory, a collaborative project on the internationalization of the undergraduate student body at the University of Illinois. She is also the PI of an Academy of Korean Studies-funded Laboratory for the Globalization of Korean Studies, The Korean Family in Comparative Perspective.
Specializations / Research Interest(s)
- East Asia
- Sociocultural Anthropology
- Korea, Japan, Asian America, class, in
- U.S./North America
- On Leave
- Abelmann, Nancy. The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation. . Duke University Press, 2009.
- Abelmann, Nancy. The Melodrama of Mobility: Women, Talk, and Class in Contemporary South Korea. . University of Hawaii Press, 2003.
- Abelmann, Nancy. Echoes of the Past, Epics of Dissent: A South Korean Social Movement. . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1996.
- Abelmann, Nancy, and John Lie. Blue Dream: Korean Americans and the L.A. Riots. . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1995.
- "Undergraduate Korean Americans and “Korean Koreans” in the Millennial American University." Koreans in America: History, Culture and Identity. . San Deigo: Cognella Academic Publishing, 2012.
- Abelmann, Nancy. "Undergraduate Korean Americans and “Korean Koreans” in the Millennial American University." Koreans in America: History, Culture and Identity. . Ed. Grace J. Yoo. Cognella Academic Publishing, 2012.
- Abelmann, Nancy, Jung-ah Choi, and So Jin Park. No Alternative?: Experiments in South Korean Education. . Global, Area, and International Archive / University of California Press: Berkeley, 2011.
- Abelmann, Nancy, and Kathleen McHugh. South Korean Golden Age Melodrama: Gender, Genre, and National Cinema. . Wayne State University Press, 2005.
- "A Fraught Exchange? U.S. Media on Chinese International Undergraduates and the American University." Journal of Studies in International Education (2013):
- "Defending South Korean Education Migration Mothers and Humanizing Global Children: Memoir/Manuals of Pre-College Study Abroad." Global Networks: A Journal of Transnational Affairs (2013):
- "The New (Korean) Wave: A Global Social Mobility Story – Please Look After Mom." Korea Observer 43.3 (2012):
- Kang, Jiyeon, and Nancy Abelmann. "The Domestication of South Korean Pre-College Study Abroad (PSA) in the first Decade of the Millennium." Journal of Korean Studies 16.1 (2011):
- Kang, Hyeyoung , Sumie Okazaki, Nancy Abelmann, Chu Kim-Prieto, and Shanshan Lan. "Redeeming Immigrant Parents: How Korean American Emerging Adults Reinterpret Their Childhood." Journal of Youth and Adolescence (2010): 1-24.
- Abelmann, Nancy, So Jin Park, and Hyunhee Kim. ""College Rank and Neoliberal Subjectivity in South Korea: The Burden of Self-Development"." Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 10.2 (2009): 229-247.
- Abelmann, Nancy, Susan Davis, Cara Finnegan, and Peggy Miller. "What is StoryCorps, Anyway?." Oral History Review 36.2 (2009): 255-260.
- Abelmann, Nancy, and Shanshan Lan. ""Christian Universalism and U.S. Multiculturalism: An "Asian American" Campus Church"." Amerasia 34.1 (2008): 65-84.
- Abelmann, Nancy, Gina Hunter, Timothy R. Cain, Tim McDonough, and Catherine Prendergast. ""Interrogating the University, One Archival Entry at a Time"." Change: The Magazine of Higher Education (2008):
- Abelmann, Nancy, Sumie Okazaki, and E.J.R. David. ""Colonialism and Psychology of Culture"." Social and Personality Psychology Compass (2007):
- Abelmann, Nancy, and Catherine Prendergast. ""Alma Mater: College, Kinship, and the Pursuit of Diversity"." Social Text 24.1 (2006): 37-53.
- Park, So Jin, and Nancy Abelmann. "Class and cosmopolitan striving: Mothers' management of English education in South Korea." Anthropological Quarterly 77.4 (2004): 645-672.
Special Issues of a Journal
- "Introduction." Korean Ethnography. Spec. iss. of Journal of Korean Studies (2012):