Our Researchers

Associate Professor Jo Elfving-Hwang

Dean Global, Korea (Curtin University)

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. 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.

Associate Professor Crystal Abidin

Curtin University

Assoc/Prof Crystal Abidin is an anthropologist and ethnographer of internet cultures, focusing especially on influencer cultures, internet celebrity, online visibility, and social media pop cultures, mostly in the Asia Pacific region, including Korea. She works as Associate Professor, Principal Research Fellow, and ARC DECRA Fellow in Internet Studies at Curtin University; Programme Lead of Social Media Pop Cultures at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University; Associate Investigator at the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child; and Affiliate Researcher with the Media Management and Transformation Centre at Jönköping University. She is also the Founder of the TikTok Cultures Research Network. She has published extensively in academic and popular media outlets, and my books include Internet Celebrity (2018, Emerald Publishing); Microcelebrity Around The Globe (2018, Emerald Publishing); Instagram (2020, Polity Press); Mediated Interfaces (2020, Bloomsbury Academic); and tumblr (2021, Polity Press). At present, Prof Crystal is completing three book manuscripts on blogshop cultures, influencer cultures, and TikTok youth cultures. She has developed several key ideas & concepts in digital cultures, which have been noted in international press coverage and her long-term engagements with industry and consultancy work. Her research has won international accolades, with notable awards including being named on The Australian Top 40 Early Career Researchers (2021), ABC TOP 5 Humanities Fellow (2020), the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia (2018) and Pacific Standard 30 Top Thinkers Under 30 (2016) lists, and receiving the ICA Pop Comm Early Career Scholar Prize (2020). She was also the 2021 Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellow at the Department of Communications and New Media at National University of Singapore.

Crystal has significant research expertise in Korean digital cultures and has a number of journal articles coming out, in collaboration with Jin Lee, on the topic of child influencers in Korea, as well as TikTok cultures in Korea.

See more here: About – WISHCRYS

Dr Jin Lee

Curtin University

Born and raised in South Korea, Dr Jin Lee is a communication media scholar exploring the question of “How do marginalized people struggle to make their own lives across different media?” She focuses on media intimacies in popular cultures, particularly media practices and visibility of social minorities across the various media platforms.

Currently, she looks at Influencer ecologies and social media pop cultures in South Korea in relation to social systems like racism and heteronormativity and emerging discourse, such as online hate. Her publication history is accessible here. She tweets @jinlee_media. She is Research Fellow in Internet Studies at Curtin University, Australia as well as a core member of the Korea Research Centre. Prior to her academic career, she worked as a researcher at the Korean government-affiliated think tank, Korean Information Society Development Institute. Jin is involved in the KRC's new project on “A comparative study of racial and cultural diversity in television advertising: an Australia and Korea case study”.

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.

Dr Jae-Eun Noh

Senior Research Associate Fellow

Jae-Eun Noh's research has explored development practices from human rights perspectives and contextualisation of development discourses. Jae-Eun’s recent publications examined global citizenship, non-profit fundraising, corporate accountability, international field work, and helping professionals’ health and wellbeing. Her research and publications are influenced by 5 years of experience in development NGOs in Korea and Bangladesh.

Jae-Eun is currently engaged in a project to explore the role of emotions in Korean aid and development and its implications for policy and practice. She is a Senior Associate Research Fellow at the School of Media, Creative Arts and Social Inquiry at Curtin University, and a member of the Korea Research Centre.

Dr Denise Woods

Senior Lecturer, MCASI

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. She coordinates and teaches in the Bachelor of Communications program which is offered at Curtin’s Bentley campus (Perth, Western Australia), Curtin’s offshore campuses in Dubai, Mauritius, Sarawak Malaysia and Singapore, as well as through Open Universities Australia (OUA). Her areas of research include media studies, cultural studies, Asian Studies and Asian Australian studies. Denise’s teaching, supervision and research on Asian media includes Korean popular culture. She is an executive committee member of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network.

During this project Denise will research how the diaspora in Australia (Korean-Australians) engage with Korean popular media and/or expanding on the current research on how Australians engage with Korean popular culture with a focus on how this shapes/constructs their understanding of Korean people and culture.