Faculty Profile

Ji-Young Um

Ji-Young Um

Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies

Email: umj@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2311
Office: Marston 251

Education: BA, Oberlin College, 1996; MA, Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2000; PhD, University of Washington, 2008. At SPU since 2019.

Ji-Young Um received her PhD in English from the University of Washington and has taught courses in American literary and cultural studies at a number of institutions before coming to Seattle Pacific University, including Seattle Central College, Scripps College, and Williams College.  Dr. Um’s areas of teaching and research include: American culture and U.S. wars in Asia/Pacific, U.S. multiethnic literature, race in media and popular culture, and Asian American literature, among other topics.

As an undergraduate (at Oberlin College, Ohio), Dr. Um came to understand that production of knowledge is always implicated in relations of power, through studying postcolonial literature and theory. She also became involved in the activist Asian American and Third World coalition student communities at this time, and in advocacy work towards a more inclusive and transformative curriculum and for retention of faculty of color. These experiences led her to pursue graduate work in literary and cultural studies, and she aims to continue working towards a more ethical and just models for teaching, writing, and learning.

Dr. Um is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but has forsaken the northeast in favor of the West Coast and isn’t looking back. She reads mystery novels in between terms and is happy to receive or share any recommendations.

Selected Publications

  • Citizen and Terrorist, Citizen as Terrorist: Military, Citizenship and Race in the Age of War on Terror,” Postmodern Culture, Vol. 22 No. 3, May 2012.
  • Article in Progress: “Sentimental Wars: America’s Friendship with Violence in the Philippines and Korea.” Forthcoming: Author entry on Chang-rae Lee for The Encyclopedia of Contemporary American Fiction 1980–2020 (Wiley).

Please see Dr. Um’s CV (PDF). 

Why I Teach at SPU

I teach at SPU because I believe in teaching the whole student and tending to their academic, social, cultural, and spiritual growth. We all bring our whole selves — our identities, experiences, and histories — into the classroom, not just our intellectual needs or questions.

Ji-Young Um
Assistant Professor of Social Justice and Cultural Studies