Wednesday, June 6, 2018

WGS Director Catherine ‘Cati’ Connell Celebrates the Accomplishments of Two Colleagues

Dr. Cati Connell, Director of the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) at Boston University, recently shared important news:

Please join me in congratulating Yoon Sun Yang on her promotion to tenured Associate Professor of Korean and Comparative Literature as well as Joanna Davidson on her promotion to tenured Associate Professor of Anthropology!

Yoon Sun Yang
(Photo: BU/WGS Website)

Yoon Sun Yang’s scholarship uses literature as a tool for investigating how gender and sexuality are implicated in the projects of modernity and coloniality, and does so in new and exciting ways. Her first book, From Domestic Women to Sensitive Young Men, disrupts the taken-for-granted interpretation of female characters in the early colonial Korean literature as outside of the modernization process. From schoolgirls to femme fatales, women characters (and the domestic novels they often appeared in) have been written off as unimportant to understanding the relationship between literature, modernity, and colonial rule. Yoon Sun’s analysis, though, shows that in fact these characters (and their authors) played a pivotal role in developing the modern notion of the individual. On a deeper level, the book shows how the process of translation – in this case, the choices made by those who translated these early modern Korean texts – is itself shaped by hegemonic norms of gender and sexuality. In addition to contributing such fascinating research to BU’s Women’s & Gender Studies program profile, Yoon Sun’s courses like Gender in East Asia and Growing Up in Korea are crucial in offering global and transnational breadth to the curricular portfolio. 

Joanna Davidson
(Photo: BU's Anthropology Department Website)

Joanna Davidson specializes in cultural anthropology, centering her research on the Diola peoples of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa through lenses of economic development, agriculture, gender relations, inter-ethnic conflict, and the politics of storytelling. She authored a critically acclaimed book, Sacred Rice: An Ethnography of Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West Africa (2016), co-edited another, and published numerous articles and reviews in top scholarly journals. WGS looks forward to adding her global and methodological expertise to the program’s ever-expanding research profile.