Nayoung Aimee Kwon

Nayoung Aimee Kwon

Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

External address: 
2204 Erwin Road Room 209, Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90414, Durham, NC 27708-0414
(919) 684-4086


Nayoung Aimee Kwon is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, the Program in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image. She currently directs the Asian American & Diaspora Studies Program and the Andrew Mellon Games & Culture Humanities Lab. Her research areas include literary criticism and translation studies; film and media studies; intellectual history; postcolonial theory; gender and sexuality, with particular focus on inter-Asian and transpacific (Asian/American) cultural encounters. Her current research examines the contested politics of cultural memories, focused on historical conflicts and their legacies in East Asia and the Asia-Pacific.  Select publications include Intimate Empire, published by Duke University Press (Korean translation from Somyŏng Press) which examines the forgotten lure of the imperial language in the contested colonial history between Korea and Japan, Antinomies of the Colonial Archive (co-edited with Takashi Fujitani) which explores colonial-era cinematic co-productions and contested postcolonial legacies in East Asia, and various articles in journals such as Journal of Asian Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Social Text, Cross-Currents. With collaborators at Duke University and TNO/University of Netherlands, she is developing a hybrid platform infinite strategy game (ISG) about historical conflicts. She is a translator of literature and manhwa/manga from Korean and Japanese into English, and co-director of Duke Engage South Korea, a program working with refugees and migrants. 

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of California - Los Angeles 2007

  • M.A., University of California - Los Angeles 2001

Fellowships, Supported Research, & Other Grants

PI awarded by Education and Research in China Grant (2016 to 2017)

PI awarded by Korea Foundation/Academy of Korean Studies (2014 to 2015)

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee. Ch'inmilhan Cheguk. Translated by Jin-gyu Kim et al., Somyong Press, 2020.

Kwon, N. A., translator. Zainichi Literature: Japanese Writings by Ethnic Koreans. University of California Berkeley Institute of East Asian Studies, 2018.

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee. “Images of Korea in Japanese Literature.” Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Culture, and Society from the Japanese Colonial Era, University of Hawaii Press, 2013.

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee, and Nayoung Aimee translator. “Foreign Husband.” Into the Light: Anthology of Resident Korean Literature, edited by Melissa Wender, University of Hawaii Press, 2010.

Kwon, N. A. “Japanophone literature? A transpacific query on absence.” Mfs  Modern Fiction Studies, vol. 64, no. 3, Sept. 2018, pp. 537–58. Scopus, doi:10.1353/mfs.2018.0041. Full Text Open Access Copy

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee. “It's Madness: The Politics of Mental Health in Colonial Korea. By Theodore Jun Yoo . Oakland: University of California Press, 2016. 248 pp. ISBN: 9780520289307 (cloth).The Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 76, no. 3, Cambridge University Press (CUP), Aug. 2017, pp. 819–21. Crossref, doi:10.1017/s0021911817000699. Full Text

Kwon, N. A. “Disavowal and Intimacy.” Sanghŏ Hakpo, vol. Vol 49, no. 1, 2017.

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee. “The Proletarian Wave: Literature and Leftist Culture in Colonial Korea 1910–1945 by Sunyoung Park.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, vol. 76, no. 1–2, Project Muse, 2016, pp. 266–69. Crossref, doi:10.1353/jas.2016.0017. Full Text

Kwon, N. A. “Conflicting nostalgia: Performing the tale of ch'unhyang (æ̃¥é™å) in the japanese empire.” Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 73, no. 1, Jan. 2014, pp. 113–41. Scopus, doi:10.1017/S002191181300168X. Full Text

Kwon, N., and Nayoung Aimee Kwon. “What/Where is Decolonial Asia?Social Text, July 2013.

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee. ““Collaboration, Coproduction, Code-Switching.”.” Cross Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, Dec. 2012.

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee. “PRIMITIVE SELVES: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910-1945, vol 5.” Pacific Affairs, vol. 85, no. 1, Mar. 2012, pp. 211–14.

Kwon, Nayoung Aimee. “From Wonso Pond.” Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 70, no. 4, Nov. 2011, pp. 1174–75. Manual, doi:10.1017/S0021911811002051. Full Text

Kwon, N. A. “Colonial modernity and the conundrum of representation: Korean literature in the Japanese empire.” Postcolonial Studies, vol. 13, no. 4, Dec. 2010, pp. 421–39. Scopus, doi:10.1080/13688790.2010.524883. Full Text


Kwon, N., and Nayoung Aimee Kwon. “Transcolonial Film Co-productions in the Japanese Empire: Antinomies in the Colonial Archive.” Cross Currents, 2012.