About The International Institute of Korean Studies

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IKSU is a hub of research, teaching and public policy on the two Koreas. IKSU is home to teaching from undergraduate degrees through to doctoral work and provides innovative research and insight from the fields of Humanities and social science.

In 2012, building on over twenty years of and research in East Asian Studies, especially in Japanese and Chinese studies, UCLan made a strategic decision to substantially invest, from its own resources, in Korean Studies. In 2012/2013, the university launched three undergraduate degrees, in which the Korean language is studied as a core language: Asia-Pacific Studies, Modern languages and Teaching English as a Second Language. Student interest was high from the inception of the degrees and numbers have grown along with the numbers of staff employed by the university to teach Korean language and Korean Studies.

The International Institute of Korean Studies –UCLan (IKSU) was formally launched in 2014 to bring together the wide range of Korea-related activities with which UCLan is engaged, across the university, in research, teaching and public policy. The intellectual focus of IKSU is the two Koreas. The emphasis is on investigating post-division international relations, politics, society and culture in both the Republic of Korea (the ROK or South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (the DPRK or North Korea) – what is idiosyncratic to each and what are the commonalities between the two states and societies after seventy years of political division.

Many of our students are interested in and excited by the contemporary culture of South Korea – from KPop to movies to fashion to gastronomy to sport. Our degrees explore Korean culture as a global phenomenon. UCLan students have been financially supported by the university to visit South Korea and IKSU maintains active exchange partnerships with universities in South Korea for the benefit of our students. Students have taken short courses in South Korea and have study for a year in a Korean university as part of their degrees.

UCLan IKSU welcomes Korea Foundation postdoctoral fellows. If you want to join us, please email to Dr Sojin Lim (SLim4@uclan.ac.uk).

You can apply for the Korea Foundation postdoctoral fellowship each year – in general, application deadline is in April.

Meet the team

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PROFESSOR NIKI ALSFORD - Co-Director for the Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU)

Professor Niki Alsford is a Professor in Asia Pacific Studies at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan and is Co-Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies. He is Co-Editor of the Routledge Research on Korea series.

Professor Alsford is a historical anthropologist/ethnohistorian by training and welcomes proposals for doctoral research on Asian Pacific history and society in particular he is interested in supervising a project on the role of the BBC on the Korean Peninsula and research on Pacific nations studies.

Prior to joining UCLan, Professor Alsford was Research Fellow at the Oriental Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences as part of a research project titled: Power and Strategies of Social and Political Order of which his contribution was primarily the continuation of his work on comparative Taiwan social history. A core part of this project explored the formation and development of urban spaces in the Asia Pacific region.

Professor Alsford is an appointed Research Associate at the Centre of Taiwan Studies at SOAS, the University of London and a Research Fellow at Ewha Institute of Unification Studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. He was formally an elected executive board member of the European Association of Taiwan Studies (EATS). He is currently a strand convenor for the Social History Society and is  Co-Editor of the BRILL Series in Taiwan Studies. He has worked on a number of collaborative projects that include the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, the Council of Indigenous Peoples, and the National Museum of Taiwan History.

He is a Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society and Country of Origin Expert (Taiwan) for the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI)

  • Ph.D. Modern East Asian History, School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), the University of London, 2015
  • MA, Asia Pacific Studies, National Chengchi University, Taipei, Taiwan, 2011
  • Bsc (Hons) Applied Social Science (Anthropology & Criminology), the University of Southampton, 2006

Please view Professor Alsford’s full biography and social media.

Dr Sojin Lim

DR SOJIN LIM - Co-Director for the Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU)

Dr Sojin Lim is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in both MA North Korean Studies and MA Asia Pacific Studies within the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies, at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). She also works as Deputy Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU). She is co-Editor of the Routledge Research on Korea series. Dr Lim welcomes proposals for doctoral research on inter-Korea development policy, development assistance to North Korea, effective and accountable institution development, global norms and accountability, South-South Cooperation and Triangular Cooperation, or a comparative studies of fragile state development. Prior to joining UCLan, Dr Lim worked for aid agencies as senior research fellow with hands-on field experiences. She also worked as external lecturer in universities in Korea. Dr Lim has conducted various projects with international organisations as well. She obtained a BA and a MA from Ewha Womans University, and a PhD from the Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester. Dr Lim’s research interests lie at development studies, area studies, public policy, and political economy: development experience of South Korea; development assistance to North Korea; transformation of state system; institutional development and public policy in developing countries; global norms and compliance. Please view Sojin’s full biography.

MS HYOJIN AN - Lead Co-ordinator for the Test of Proficiency in Korean(TOPIK)

Ms Hyojin An is an associate lecturer at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan. She taught Korean for 4 years through the online Korean-language learning platform, TalkToMeInKorean.com, and wrote several books and e-books for learners of Korean. She obtained her BA degrees in English Language Education and Japanese Language and Literature at Korea University in South Korea and her MA in Korean Studies at SOAS. For her dissertation, she analysed different strategies to avoid common errors produced by KFL learners. Her main interests include teaching Korean as a foreign language and motivating second and foreign-language learning. She is also a coordinator for UCLan's IKSU TOPIK Centre. View Hyojin's full biography.

Dr Hae-Sung Jeon


Dr Hae-Sung Jeon was awarded a Ph.D. from the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge in 2012. Dr. Jeon was Research Associate at the Phonetics Laboratory, University of Cambridge, prior to joining UCLan in September 2012. Her areas of expertise are acoustic phonetics, laboratory phonology and Korean linguistics. Her current research projects are on the Korean fricatives, word segmentation in Korean, and perception of linguistic pitch and rhythm. As Subject Leader of Korean Studies, she has developed undergraduate curriculum at UCLan. Please view Hae-Sung's full biography and publications.


Dr. Jihye Kim is a Lecturer in Korean Studies in the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan specialising in the migration, history and settlement experiences of diasporic Koreans. She has published a number of works on Korean and Korean Chinese (Joseonjok) immigrants in Argentina. She participates in team research projects on the Korean and Jewish communities in Buenos Aires, funded by the Argentine National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). Her current research interests include Korean and Korean Chinese (Joseonjok) immigration and entrepreneurship in Argentina and Brazil, and North Korean refugees in the United Kingdom. Please view Jihye's full profile.


DR JEONG-IM HYUN - Lead Co-ordinator of the IKSU Annual Korean Festival and Working Paper Series

Dr Jeong-Im Hyun is Lecturer at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies of the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Prior to joining UCLan, Dr Hyun taught in three different countries:  Sogang University in Korea, Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania and University of Turku in Finland. She obtained a BA and a MA from Sogang University, and a PhD University of Paris IV-Sorbonne. Recently she obtained Docent (the highest academic diploma in Finland) in the University of Turku. Dr Hyun’s research interests lie at social movement in Korea and in Europe, political communication analysis, global social movement. View Jeong-Im's full biography



Jungmin Lee is a Lecturer in Korean Language and Culture. She has ten years of experience teaching Korean as a second language to university students. Prior to joining UCLan, Jungmin taught at Kyoungin Women’s University and Yongin University and has worked to develop and modernise Korean language curricula. Her main interests include bilingual education, student motivation in foreign languages and textbook design. Jungmin holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching Korean as a Second Language, Seoul National University, an MA in International Area Studies from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and a BA in Political Science and Diplomacy from Sogang University. Her publications include Park, Miroung, Lee, Jungmin & Cha, Haekyoung 2012 My Korean Friend 1, Seoul, Hankook Munhwasa. (In Korean); and Moon, Sunhee, Burg, Damon & Lee, Jungmin 2011 Conversations in the Fashion Industry, Seoul, Sidaegosi, (In Korean). View Jungmin's full biography


MR MARK PLAICE - Lead Co-ordinator of Asia Pacific Studies Film Festival

Mark Plaice is a Professional Korean Tutor in the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan. He specialises in teaching beginner’s Korean. His research interests include contemporary South Korean popular culture, with a particular focus on Korean gangster films, spatial relations in genre film, and Korean TV drama and streaming media. He is also is a specialist in East Asian cinemas.  Please view Mark's full biography.

MS ROWANN FITZPATRICK - Asia Pacific Institutes Administrator

Rowann Fitzpatrick is the Asian Studies Institute Administrator within the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at the University of Central Lancashire. Completing her first-Class Honours Degree in Fine Art in 2018, she joined the team in August.

Prior to UCLan Rowann worked as an Intern within the Institute of Korean Studies (IKSU) assisting with Project Management, and volunteered within the Bradford City Council and the Leeds Youth Service, helping to execute events within their local communities.

Dr Xi Chen

Xi is a Lecturer of Korean Studies. She received her Ph.D in Korean and Chinese linguistics at SOAS, University of London. Her research focuses on pragmatics and applied linguistics in East Asian languages, particularly in Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Please view Xi Chen's full biography.


Internal Research Associates

Dr Ed Griffith

Dr Ed Griffith

Ed joined UCLan in September 2014 for the rapidly expanding Asia-Pacific Studies. He is continuing to work on research into the Sino-Japanese relationship and different perspectives on East Asian international relations more generally. He holds: a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies from the University of Leeds, an M.A. in Japanese Studies, also from the University of Leeds, another M.A. in Chinese Studies from SOAS and a B.A. (Hons.) in International Relations & Global Politics from Nottingham Trent University, 2007. Ed Griffith’s research interests are mainly focused on the international relations of East Asia, in particular the Sino-Japanese relationship and China’s approach to its own changing role in the region. He is interested in exploring how established IR theories can be adapted to deepen our understanding of China’s behaviour in developing its relationships with neighbouring countries.

Please view Dr Ed Griffith’s full biography.

Dr Lara Momesso

Dr Lara Momesso is a Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan. Her research interests include contemporary migrations across the Asia Pacific region with a particular focus on marriage migration between China and Taiwan, family formation in contemporary Chinese societies, gender in the Asia Pacific region. She also is a specialist on contemporary Chinese and Taiwanese societies.

Please view Dr Lara Momesso's full biography.

Dr Bill Mihalopoulos

Dr Bill Mihalopoulos is a Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies at UCLan. He has a wealth of international teaching experience having worked in Australia, Japan, Korea, U.A.E and United States of America.

Please view Dr Bill Mihalopoulos's full biography.

Dr Ti-Han Chang

Dr. Ti-han Chang is a lecturer of Asia Pacific studies at University of Central Lancashire. Her research interests cover a wide-range of topics, including postcolonial environmental literature, ecocriticism, environmental and animal ethics, socio-political movements, political identity, political censorship, migrant and aboriginal studies. Many of these research topics are investigated in the specific geo-historical frameworks of Post-War Taiwan. Her doctoral thesis carried out a comparative study of the postcolonial eco-literature of a Taiwanese author, Wu Ming-yi and a South African author, J.M. Coetzee.

Please view Dr Ti-han Chang's full biography.

Dr Adina Zemanek

Dr Adina Zemanek joined UCLan as Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies in October 2018. She holds a PhD degree in cultural anthropology. Her current research focuses on nation branding and definitions of Taiwan in contemporary popular culture (graphic narratives, tourist souvenirs).

Please view Dr Adina Zemanek's full biography.

Dr Moises de Souza

Dr Moises de Souza is Lecturer in Asia Pacific Studies at the School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies and Chair of the Northern England Policy Centre for the Asia Pacific (NEPCAP) at University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). He is also Researcher in Asia Studies at the International Relations Research Centre of the University of São Paulo (NUPRI-GEASIA), and Deputy Director of the South China Sea Think Tank (SCSSTT). Additionally, he is also founding-member of the Asia-Pacific Policy Research Association (APPRA) an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting dialogue, research, and education about policies in the Asia-Pacific region. 

Please view Dr Ti-han Chang's full biography.

honorary professors



Dr Michael J. Seth is a Professor of History at James Madison University. There he teaches East Asian and World history.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii, his M.A. and B.A. from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Seth is the author of Education Fever: Society, Politics and the Pursuit of Schooling in South Korea (2002), A Concise History of Korea (second edition, 2016), North Korea: A History (2018), and editor of The Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History (2016).



Professor Eun Mee Kim is Dean of The Graduate School, Professor in the Graduate School of International Studies, Director of the Institute for Development and Human Security and Director of the Ewha Global Health Institute for Girls at Ewha Womans University. She served as President of the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation (2011, 2012). She has served as a member on the Committee for International Development Cooperation under the Prime Minister’s Office, the Policy Advisory Committee in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Policy Advisory Committee in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. In 2012, she received the Service Merit Medal from the Republic of Korea for her contributions to the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan. In 2013, she received the first research grant to a university in South Korea from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on her research project entitled, “Advocacy for Korean Engagement in Global Health and Development.” In 2016, she received a second grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a project entitled, “Korea Global Health Strategy.” In December 2016 she was appointed by the UN as one of 15 scientists in the world to work on the Global Sustainable Development Report 2019.



Dr Seon Jung Kim is Dean of International Office and Professor of the Department of Korean Studies at Keimyung University in Korea. She is also President of the Korean Language and Culture Education Society. She has published various of Korean text books in countries like United States, France and in Korea.

Post Graduate Research Associate

Priscilla Jung Kim

Priscilla Jung Kim

Priscilla Kim is researching the Track II diplomatic efforts between the United States and North Korea during the second North Korea nuclear crisis (2002-2008). Her focus on Track II diplomacy stems from her interest in official - or Track I diplomacy - that has occurred between the two states. Her research focuses on the New York Philharmonic's visit to North Korea, the efforts by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP), and science diplomacy conducted by academics of Stanford University and the Nautilus Institute. Priscilla received her B.A. and M.A. in East Asian Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.