Jisoo M. Kim is Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History, International Affairs, and East Asian Languages and Literatures at the George Washington University. She received her Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. She is a specialist in gender and the legal history of early modern Korea. Her broader research interests include crime and justice, literary representations of the law, history of emotions, diglossia, vernacular, and gender and sexuality. Her recent publications include “Women’s Legal Voice: Language, Power, and Gender Performativity in Late Chosŏn Korea,” Journal of Asian Studies vol. 74 no. 3 (August 2015), The Emotions of Justice: Gender, Status, and Legal Performance in Chosŏn Korea (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015), which was awarded the 2017 James B. Palais Book Prize of Association for Asian Studies, and William Haboush and Jisoo M. Kim eds., JaHyun Kim Haboush's The Great East Asian War and the Birth of the Korean Nation (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016). The award-winning book, The Emotions of Justice, has been translated into Korean and was published in November 2020. The book is also currently being translated into Chinese. It is scheduled to be published in mainland China in 2023.
She is currently working on her second book-length project, tentatively titled Crime of Violence: Forensic Medicine, Dead Bodies, and Legal Culture in Early Modern Korea. In her second book project, she focuses on the cultural meaning of violence in Chosŏn Korea. She examines how forensic medicine was applied in the investigation process of the emotional disorder of murder, so contrary to Confucian ideals of social harmony. Using dead bodies as a site, the book examines how the dead spoke of grievances through their bodies and how forensic medicine played a critical role in searching for “truth.” In addition to the book-length project, she is also working on three book chapters, one journal article, and one edited volume. She is also working on another book project on the history of adultery tentatively titled Sexual Desire and Gendered Subjects: A History of Adultery Law in Korea.
She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Korean Studies, the most renowned journal in the field. She is also on the advisory board of the Korean Association of Women's History and the Sungkyun Journal of East Asian Studies.
She actively contributes to the field by serving on the crucial committees: Committee on the John K. Fairbank Prize (AHA), Committee on Korean Studies (AAS), and Korea Foundation Advisory Committee for North America.
At GW, she teaches courses on the history of Korea, East Asian history, gender in East Asia, human rights in the Koreas, and the division of Korea.
At GW, she is the founding director of the Institute for Korean Studies (Fall 2016-present) and co-founding director of the East Asia National Resource Center (Fall 2018-present). Under her directorship, GWIKS raised in total $5,172,669 (Grants:$4,422,669 and Endowment:$750,000). With the grants received, the Institute created both academic and policy programs (Summer Program, GW-Indiana University Undergraduate Research Exchange Program, Korean Literature Essay Contest, Undergraduate Research Fellow Program, Book Manuscript Workshop, GWIKS Postdoctoral Fellowship, Korea Policy Forum, North Korea Certificate Program, and North Korea Economic Forum), offered new courses (History of North Korea, North Korean Political Economy, and Korean Art and Culture), and sponsored or co-sponsored numerous events. In addition, GWIKS and Sigur Center for Asian Studies together manage the East Asia National Resource Center.