Ga Young Chung


Position Title
Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies

3111 Hart Hall
Office Hours
Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30 PM to 5 PM by appointment.

Research Interests

critical race theory, transnational migration and globalization, U.S. imperialism and militarism, citizenship, activism, gender and sexuality, youth studies, liberatory pedagogy, neoliberalization and internationalization of higher education, comparative ethnic studies, critical Korean studies


Ga Young Chung is Assistant Professor of Asian American Studies and affiliated with the Cultural Studies, Human Rights Studies, and the School of Education. In her research, she examines the surge of dislocation, precarity, and (im)mobility in the era of uneven globalization. Centering on political activism and resistance of undocumented migrants, she unpacks how the meaning of citizenship is dismantled, rearticulated, and reassembled in the Asia-Pacific. Chung is currently revising her book manuscript entitled “Unexpired: Undocumented Korean Youth Activism, Citizenship, and the Radical Future.” Informed by transdisciplinary insights from Comparative Ethnic Studies, Critical Korean Studies, Youth Studies, and Transnational Migration Studies, her work is dedicated to expanding the field of Asian American Studies. 

Chung has three on-going research projects. She is studying undocumented Korean immigrants’ gendered participation in the Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest (MAVNI) program, focusing on the un-ending Cold War, militarized citizenship, and masculinity. She is also conducting a longitudinal study, which she initially embarked on in 2007 (Chung 2009), of undocumented Mongolian youth and their circular migration among Mongolia, South Korea, and the United States. Lastly, as a critical education scholar, her scholarship is grounded in where she is located – the university. She is investigating the new racialization of Asian student-migrants, so-called "international" students, and its impact on the other marginalized student bodies in neoliberal U.S. higher education. Currently, she is also co-leading two interdisciplinary projects: Resilient Academics: Re-imagining academic horizons and “Seed Saving and Cultural Memory Banking: Community-Engaged Participatory Plant Breeding with API Farmers and serves as a co-investigator of the “Race and Gender: Theorizing the New Racialization of the Asian Migrants in South Korea,” a project funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea.

Chung’s scholarship and teaching have been recognized by numerous awards and grants. Currently, she serves as a member of the Critic’s Choice Book Award Selection Committee at the American Educational Studies Association (AESA) and a board member at the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC) and the Education Justice Project (EJP). She is also an affiliated scholar at the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan. Chung received her Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies (Global Studies in Education) with a graduate minor in Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2019), and she obtained her M.A. and B.A. in Sociology from Yonsei University in South Korea. 

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

2022    An Ambivalent Magic: Undocumented Asian Immigrants and Racialized “Illegality” in the US Imperial Project. Amerasia Journal, 47(2): 267-282.

2021    Teaching Ethnic Studies Remotely Amid Global Pandemic: Rise of Xenophobia, Black Lives  Matter, and Pedagogy for Liberation. American Educational History Journal, 33-40.

2019    “Where are We from?”: A Critical Community Autoethnography of Place and Belonging by Ph.D. International Female Student-Scholar-Activists in the U.S. International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, 9(2). (Coauthored with Zilonka, R., Carvajal, N., Cai, X.)

2018    Divergent Paths toward Militarized Citizenship: The “Unending” Cold War, Transnational Space of Citizenship, and International Korean Male Students. Korea Journal, 58(3): 76-101. (Coauthored with Choi, H.J.)

2017    At the Crossroads of Change: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Undocumented Korean Americans’ Political Participation, and Upcoming Challenges. Harvard Journal of Asian American Policy Review, 27: 67-73.

2009    Invisible Children in South Korea: The Adaptive Efforts of Undocumented Mongolian Youth and Their Challenges. Korean Journal of Social Issues. 18(2): 9-44. 

Book Chapters

2022    Dismantling the “Undocumented Korean Box”: Race, Education, and Undocumented Korean Immigrant Activism for Liberation. In Diane C. Fujino & Robyn Magalit Rodriguez (Ed.), Contemporary Asian American Activism: Building Movements for Liberation. University of Washington Press.

2017    Undocumented Korean Immigrant Youth Activists in the United States and the Politics of Resistance. In Moon Young Cho (Ed.), Hell-Chosun In and Out: Anthropological Research on the Global Mobility of South Korean Youth. Seoul, South Korea: Noolmin.

2015    Makeshift Multiculturalism: The Transformation of Elementary School Teacher Training. In John Lie (Ed.), Multiethnic Korea?: Multiculturalism, Migration, and Peoplehood Diversity in Contemporary South Korea. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. (Coauthored with Abelmann, N. et al.)

2011    Undocumented Children of Foreign Migrant Workers in South Korea. In Minoru, I., Chen, G. & Shunya, Y. (Eds.), Reading Asia through Cultural Studies. Tokyo, Japan: SericaShobo.


2011    Undocumented Asian Migrant Youth in South Korea. Seoul, Korea: Samchang Press. (Coauthored with Kim, D. et al.) 

Policy Briefs & Op-Ed

2022    "COVID-19 and the Status of Undocumented Korean Immigrants in the New York Region.” New York: Minkwon Center for Community Action. 
2021    "Mirror of Hate: Atlanta Shootings and the Names We Should Call.” March 24, 2021. Changbi: South Korea.

Selected Awards & Honors

2022   DHI Network-Collaboration Award, Davis Humanities Institute 
2021   Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Public Scholarship, UC Davis
2020   Diversity Scholar, National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan
2018   Teachers Ranked as Excellent, Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, University of Illinois
2017   Teachers Ranked as Excellent, Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, University of Illinois
2017   Korean Studies Dissertation Workshop Fellow, Social Science Research Council
2016   Graduate Research Fellowship, Korean American Scholarship Foundation
2016   Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Dissertation Research Award, University of Illinois
2016   Dissertation Research Grant, College of Education, University of Illinois
2015   Jeffrey S. Tanaka Research Award, Asian American Studies, University of Illinois
2014   HASTAC Scholar Fellowship, Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory


  • ASA 189D | Policy & Community
  • ASA 116 | Asian American Youth
  • ASA 4 | Asian American Cultural Studies
  • ASA 2 | Contemporary Issues of Asian Americans
  • ASA 198 | Seed Saving and Cultural Memory Banking: Community-Engaged Participatory Plant Breeding with the API Farmers in CA (Interdisciplinary seminar with the Dept. of Plant Science)

In the News