KRC Affiliate Students

Sophia Ammali, Research Assistant and Honours Student

Sophia Ammali double majored in Political Science and International Relations and Korean Studies, and is interested in the academic fields of language, pop culture and politics. In 2023 she joins the Korea Research Centre team as a research assistant in the Development of Korean Language School Education in Western Australia Research Project. This DFAT-funded project focuses on language policy and Korean language education and investigates barriers to language learning in WA schools. 

In 2023 Sophia also joins Curtin University as an Honours student.

Anahita Edwards Jones, KRC Honours Student

Anahita Edwards Jones majored in English and Cultural Studies at UWA, graduating in 2018 and completed a diploma in Korean studies at UWA, graduating in 2022. 

In 2023 Anahita joins Curtin University as an Honours student. Her dissertation topic focuses on representations of gender and shifting gender narratives in K-Drama. 

Catherine Taylor, KRC Honours Student

Catherine Taylor is a recent Bachelor of Arts graduate from the University of Western Australia, having completed a double major in Political Science and International Relations and Korean Studies. In 2022, Catherine was awarded an AKS-KRC Undergraduate Essay Scholarship for her written contribution on navigating engagement narratives for the Australia-South Korea relationship and undertook internal language and political studies at Korea University’s International Summer Campus. 

She joins Curtin University as a Honours student in 2023, with a prospective dissertation topic concerning Western Australian and South Korean engagement in renewable energy collaboration.

Mimansa Jethro, KRC Honours Student

Mimansa Jethro graduated from the University of Western Australia with a double major in Political Science & International Relations and French Studies in 2021. In the final year of her bachelor’s degree, she undertook a unit run by Associate Professor Jo Elfving-Hwang which explored contemporary Korean society. Thanks to this class she became deeply fascinated by the cultural and social dynamics of modern-day Korea.

With a keen interest in the political landscape of the country, in 2023, Mimansa joins Curtin University as an honours student where she will pursue her dissertation on the topic of neoconservatism among young Korean men. Through her research she aims to explore how these individuals view traditional values and societal norms and how their beliefs impact their political and social behaviour.

Anisha Goodridge, KRC Honours Student

Anisha Goodridge studied Marine Science and Korean Studies at UWA, graduating in 2021. She completed an Honours in Asian Studies with a research project combining both natural science and Asian studies interests. Her research project investigated the origins and evolution of the concept of ‘environmentalism’ in South Korea, hoping to identify the factors that have influenced its development and how environmentalism has influenced social/governmental projects.

Shu Zhu, PhD Candidate

Shu Zhu’s PhD project is a comparative study of how older Chinese and Korean migrants living in Perth, Western Australia experience their ageing bodies in the context of beauty work. Focusing on their lived experiences of ‘doing beauty’ and engaging with everyday beauty practices, this project will contribute to the current body of knowledge by providing a general understanding of how ageing bodies are perceived and experienced, particularly how beauty work and aesthetic care of self intersect with notions of wellbeing and positive ageing in later life in migrant contexts for older migrants of Korean and Chinese cultural backgrounds.   

Theo Mendez, Honours Student (2020-2021)

Theo Mendez’s Honours project (Sem 2 2020 and Sem 1 2021) is an analysis of attitudes regarding Asia among young adults in Australia, focusing on their interactions with Asia through the ‘Asia literacy’ school curriculum and through popular culture. The research draws on interview data from three focus groups run with 14 participants who graduated from Australian high schools between 2016-2018. Thematic analysis of these interviews has produced two key findings. The first is that orientalist attitudes still play a key role in Australia’s relationship with Asia. Second, participants’ rigid understandings of cultural hybridity and authenticity refute the idea that increased Asian representation in popular culture precipitates greater cosmopolitanism. Together, these findings point to the conclusion that the underlying role of Asia in shaping Australian national identity has not fundamentally changed, despite shifts in popular culture consumption and school curricula. This highlights the need for transformative changes in education that aim to build genuine intercultural understanding among the next generation of Australians. 

Theo is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne.

King Sein, Honours Student (2021)

King Sein studied  Political Science and International Relations, and Korean Studies at the University of Western Australia after which he undertook Honours in Asian Studies at UWA in 2021. His research project examined how South Korea’s soft power through cultural exports (such as Korean music, Korean dramas, Korean cuisine) had a positive impact on Asian Australian identity in Australian society. 

King graduated in 2021.