Our Researchers

Associate Professor Jo Elfving-Hwang 

Dean Global, Korea (Curtin University)

KRC Director

Associate Professor Jo Elfving-Hwang is the Director of the Korea Research Centre of Western Australia and Dean Global, Korea, at the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor Global. She is also Associate Professor of Korean Society and Culture at the School of Media Creative Arts and Social inquiry at Curtin University.  Her research focuses on the body in Korean culture and society, and she leads the Centre’s thematic initiative focusing on “Bodies”. Her previous work has examined how beauty work and cosmetic surgery in Korea relate to embodied and material expressions of performing social class and status, race and celebrity beauty work as a form of somatic entrepreneurship. Recently Jo’s work has examined social meanings attached to beauty work as the body ages and how middle aged men relate to technologies of the body in every day corporate contexts. Her monograph drawing on the findings of project is titled Beauty Matters: the Body in Korean Culture and Society.

Prior to joining Curtin University in 2022, Jo worked at the University of Western Australia where she lead the development of UWA's Korean Studies program. She has also worked as the Director of Korean Studies at Frankfurt University in Germany, having worked in a number of academic roles in the UK. She currently serves in the Education Advisory Board of the Australia Korea Business Council and is the Vice President of the Korean Studies Association of Australasia. In 2022 she was nominated by the Australia Korea Foundation as one of the 60 people in Australia who have made a significant contribution to Australia-Korea relations in the past 60 years. 

Professor Crystal Abidin

Curtin University

Prof Crystal Abidin is an anthropologist and ethnographer of internet cultures, focusing especially on influencer cultures, internet celebrity, and social media pop cultures, mostly in the Asia Pacific region, including Korea. She works as Professor of Internet Studies and ARC DECRA Fellow, Deputy Director of the Korea Research Centre, Founding Director of the Influencer Ethnography Research Lab, and Founder of the TikTok Cultures Research Network, among other portfolios. She has published six books and over 80 articles and chapters, and her research has directly informed policy changes at government and industry level. She has won international accolades, including WA Young Tall Poppy Science Award (2022), The Australian Top 40 Early Career Researchers (2021), ABC TOP 5 Humanities Fellow (2020), ICA Pop Comm Early Career Scholar Prize (2020), Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia (2018), and Pacific Standard 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 (2016). 

She is currently working on a book titled 'Social Media Pop Cultures in Korea'. Reach her at wishcrys.com.

Professor Farida Fozdar

Deputy Head of School (MCASI, Curtin University)

Farida Fozdar is Professor of Sociology and Deputy Head of School of MCASI at Curtin University, and teaches social research methods and units on migration and cultural awareness. Her research focuses on race relations and migrant settlement, citizenship and issues to do with refugees and asylum seekers. She has published over one hundred articles and books exploring issues of inclusion and exclusion in relation to nationalism, postnationalism and cosmopolitanism, as well as mixed race. She was guest speaker at the Catholic University of Daegu on the topic of interculturality in Australia and Korea, and has published on interculturality in Korea. She is currently involved in a research project that compares representations of diversity in Korean and Australian TV advertising.

Farida also supervises PhD students in areas related to her work. 

Associate Professor Alexey Muraviev

Head, Defence and Strategic Studies (Curtin University)

Dr Alexey D. Muraviev is Associate Professor of National Security and Strategic Studies at Curtin University. He is the founder and Director of the Strategic Flashlight forum on national security and strategy at Curtin. 


Alexey has published widely in the field of national security, strategic and defence studies. His research interests include problems of modern maritime power, contemporary defence and strategic policy, political-military developments in East Asia, Russia as a Pacific power, transnational terrorism and Australian national security. Among his latest publications are ‘Strategic Reality Check: The Current State and Prospects of Russia-China Deepening Defence Cooperation’, Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies, 2021; and ‘India’s Security Dilemma: Engaging Big Powers while Retaining Strategic Autonomy, International Politics, 2021.


He holds positions on several journals and organisations, including: member of the International Editorial and Advisory Board of The Australian Journal of Defence and Strategic Studies; Australian Member Committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region; International Institute for Strategic Studies, London; National judge, Department of Defence Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Safeguarding Australia; member of the Advisory Board, Australia Public Network, and other organisations and think tanks.

Dr Jae-Eun Noh

Research Associate (KRC, Curtin University)

Dr Jae-Eun Noh is a Research Associate at the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University, and a member of the Korea Research Centre.  With her Ph.D. in International Development from the University of Queensland, Jae-Eun's research interests include human rights and social justice, sustainable development, civil society, corporate social accountability, cosmopolitanism and global citizenship, helping professionals' health and wellbeing.

Jae-Eun has published over 25 journal articles and book chapters exploring development policies and practices from human rights perspectives. Jae-Eun’s recent publications on Korea examined Korean development practitioners’ emotions (Community Development Journal, 2023; Third World Quarterly, 2022), norms and identities in framing Korean aid (Development in Practice, 2022),  cosmopolitan nationalism in Korea (Thesis Eleven, 2022), and Korean migrants’ transnational activism (VOLUNTAS, 2021).

Jae-Eun keeps working with Korean development agencies as an advisor. 

Senior Lecturer (MCASI, Curtin University)

KRC Deputy Director

Denise Woods is a senior lecturer and co-director of learning and teaching in the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University. Her areas of research include media studies, cultural studies, Asian Studies and Asian Australian studies.  Denise has supervised honours research on Korean popular culture, and has a research interest in how Australians engage with Korean popular culture such as Korean dramas and K-Pop and what contributions these engagements may have on their cultural identities and cosmopolitan views.  Denise coordinates and teaches in the Bachelor of Communications program which is offered at Curtin’s Bentley (Western Australia) and offshore campuses in Dubai, Mauritius, Malaysia and Singapore.  Korean popular media is part of the curriculum for the Bachelor of Communications. Denise is also the convenor of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network (AASRN) and a member of the Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT) at Curtin University.

Ms Younghye Seo Whitney

KRC/MCASI, Curtin University

Ms Younghye Seo Whitney is a Korea Foundation Associate Lecturer of Korean Studies. Younghye has focused on the development of Korean language teaching and school outreach.

Younghye has more than 20 years of Korean and Japanese language teaching experience. Most recently, Younghye has taught Korean at the Australian National University and the University of Western Australia. In 2022, Younghye developed the new WA ATAR Korean second language syllabus and materials for years 11 and 12. The WA Korean ATAR program is scheduled to commence this year (2023).

In addition to her teaching activities, Younghye is currently working on her PhD through the Australian National University. Her doctoral research project focuses on the role played by transnational intellectual networks in South Korea's pro-democracy movement during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Through a social network analysis approach to primary source materials, Younghye endeavours to rediscover an intricate network of actors that operated between Korea and Japan during this period.