Kyoim Yun

Associate Professor
Ph.D. Indiana University 2007
Primary office:
Wescoe Hall, 2100
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045


Contact information


Kyoim Yun is a Koreanist trained in interdisciplinary research, including oral literature, folklore, and cultural and linguistic anthropology. She served as the guest editor for a special issue of Folklore Forum on the Folklore of East Asia, and her articles have been published in the Journals of Korean Studies, Ritual Studies, Folklore Research, and American Folklore. She is fine-tuning her book manuscript Ritual Economy: Contingencies of Value of Shamanic Practice on Cheju Island, South Korea, based on her long-term ethnographic and historical research. She has recently begun new ethnographic research on healing and meditation in the context of the prevailing therapeutic ethos of South Korea, a society in which resistance to professional help for mental health issues is prevalent. Among the awards and fellowships she has received are a Korea Foundation Field Research Grant and a Kyujanggak Fellowship given by Seoul National University’s Center for Korean Studies. She also received the J. Michael Young Academic Advisor Award and a Teaching Excellence Award for her dedicated work at KU. 

Recent and Selected Publications

“Spiritual Entrepreneurship: Negotiating the Ritual Marketplace on Contemporary Cheju Island, South Korea.” Journal of Ritual Studies Vol. 30, No. 2 (2016): 53-65.

“The Economic Imperative of UNESCO Recognition: A South Korean Shamanic Ritual.” Journal of Folklore Research. Vol. 52, No. 2/3 (2015): 181-198. Reprinted in Michael Foster and Lisa Gilman, eds. UNESCO on the Ground: Local Perspectives on Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. 2015.

“Negotiating a Korean National Myth: Dialogic Interplay and Entextualization in an Ethnographic Encounter.” Journal of American Folklore. Vol. 124, No. 494 (2011): 295-316.

“The 2002 World Cup and a Local Festival in Cheju: Global Dreams and the Commodification of Shamanism.” Journal of Korean Studies 11.1 (2006): 7-39.

“Research on Verbal Art in the United States: The Performance-centered Approach and the Ethnography of Oral Poetics.” Journal of Korean Oral Literature 15.2 (2002): 249-82. In Korean.

Recent Courses Taught

Korean Culture: An Anthropological Perspective

Popular Cultures of East Asia

Colonial Korea

Post-colonial Korea

Intermediate Korean I

Elementary Korean I and II

Areas of Interest 

Happiness, therapeutic ethos, meditation and mental health

Korean anthropology/ folklore/ history

Rituals/ festivals


Heritage studies

Regional/national identity issues

Performance studies

Popular culture

Ethnographic methodology and writing



For additional information about Professor Yun's research, please consult KU ScholarWorks ».



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