• The University of Western Australia (M257), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


  • 64 Citations
  • 2 h-Index
If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


I am an Associate Professor of Korean Studies at the University of Western Australia, Perth. Prior to moving to Australia in 2012 to develop a Korean Studies curriculum at UWA, I was Director of Korean Studies at Frankfurt University, and have also worked at Sheffield University, Leeds University and Sheffield Hallam University in the UK in various academic positions. I am an enthusiastic Koreanist and have served in a number of elected positions to promote Korean Studies both in academia and in the industry. I am the current President of the Korean Studies Association of Australasia (KSAA) and previously served as a Treasurer for KSAA for the past four years. I am also currently serving as an Executive Board Member of the Australia-Korea Business Council or Western Australia (AKBCWA).
In my own institution I am the Deputy Head of School of Social Sciences with the responsibility for the Teaching & Learning portfolio, and serve in a number of committees, including the Academic Board at UWA, the School of Social Sciences School Executive Committee, the University Board of Discipline, Salary Progression Committee (VC’s nominee), and Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Education Curriculum Committee and the Faculty Teaching & Learning Committee.

Roles and responsibilities

Current Roles:
Deputy Head of School (Social Sciences, Teaching & Learning Portfolio)
Member of the Academic Board (since 2015)
Member of the Faculty Teaching and Learning & Curriculum Committees (since 2014)
Salary Progression Committee (Professional Staff), VC's nominee, since 2015

Previous Roles:
Discipline Chair (Asian Studies)
Convenor of Korean Studies
Graduate Research Coordinator (Social Sciences)

Research expertise:
Cosmetic surgery and beauty cultures in Korea
Gender and popular culture in Korea
Korean literature and cinema
Korean cultural diplomacy and popular culture
Korean Official Development Assistance and Cultural Engagement in Africa

Co-curator of the "Transcending Borders" Korean art exhibition (Berndt Museum, May-July 2014: http://www.lwgallery.uwa.edu.au/exhibitions/transcendingborders
Member of the organising committee for the Australian Sociological Association (TASA) conference in 2017: https://conference.tasa.org.au/
Member of the organising committee for the ASAA 2014 conference: www.asaa2014.com
Workshop "The Present and Future of Korean Literature in Translation – How to Translate Literature“ ("한국문학 번역의 현실과 전망-문화번역을 어떻게 할 것인가") (October 10-11, 2011), Frankfurt University (organised in collaboration with Korean Literature Translation Institute): main conference organiser
Centre for Promoting Learner Autonomy (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) Symposium in July 2009
Centre for Promoting Learner Autonomy (Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning) Poster Exhibition in January 2009
Graduate studies conference at Sheffield University in February 2004: Main organiser

Future research

I have forthcoming publications on aspirational beauty and ageing in Korea; cinematic representations of ageing in Korea; co-authored paper on rethinking the femme fatale in Korean cinema, as well as co-authored paper on perceptions of ideal 'Australian beauty' among Asian Australian youth.

Funding overview

Academy of Korean Studies (Seoul, South Korea) competitive international research grant (US$15,000) UWA, 2017: 'Man Made Beautiful: A Qualitative Study of the Social Meanings Attached to Everyday Beauty Practices by Korean Salarymen'
Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade - Australia Korea Competitive Grant, UWA, 2017 ($15,000), Associate Professor Joanna Elfving-Hwang, Mr Iain Watt, Professor Wendy Erber, Professor Leonard Collard, Professor Ian McArthur, 'Promoting Australia in Korea: The Second UWA-SKKU Partnership Forum'
UWA Research Collaboration Awards, UWA, 2016 ($20,000): Professor Loretta Baldassar, Dr Raelene Wilding, Associate Professor Christopher Etherton-Beer, Dr Judy Esmond, Associate Professor Joanna Elfving-Hwang, Dr Helen Manchester, Dr Ivalyo Vassilev, Professor Gonzalo Bacigalupe, Dr Sanetta Du Toit, Dr Majella Kilkey, Professor Hengjin Dong, Professor Cornelia Schweppe, Professor Paolo Boccagni, Dr Jyotsna Kalavar, Associate Professor Leng Thang, Associate Professor Elaine Ho, 2016: 'Ageing and New Media'

'What Does an Australian Look Like? Pilot Study on Understanding Asian-Australian Perceptions of ‘Australian Appearance’ in Multicultural Australia', Teaching Relief for UWA Academic Staff (2016)

Academy of Korean Studies (Seoul, South Korea) competitive reearch grant: "Elderly Korean Women's Somatic Subjectivities and Technologies of Self in an Image-Conscious Society" (2014-2015)

Associate Professor Robert Ian Cover, Associate Professor Farida Fozdar, Associate Professor Loretta Baldassar, Associate Professor Joanna Elfving-Hwang 2014, 'Community, Popular and Digital Media in Migrant Settlement, Integration and Resilience: Mobilities and Belonging', UWA Research Collaboration Awards

BMBF Grant (Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Germany): “Korean Cultural Policy in Africa”, 2012-2016 (Collaborative grant, total €3.98 million)

Frankfurt University QSL (Enhancing Quality in Teaching and Learning) Grant - 2011

Korean Literature Translation Institute Workshop Grant - 2011

Korean Literature Translation Institute Residential Program Grant - 2011

Frankfurt University QSL (Enhancing Quality in Teaching and Learning) Grant - 2011

Korean Literature Translation Institute International Exchange Grant - 2010

Daesan Foundation Field Research Grant for Korean Literature - 2009

Korean Literature Translation Institute International Exchange Grant - 2009

Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship 2007/2008 - 2007

Peter Carnell Memorial Award - 2002

Learned Society Travel Grant - 2002

Daesan Foundation Postgraduate Grant for Korean Studies - 2001

Previous positions

Director of Korean Studies, Junior Professor of Korean Society and Culture (Frankfurt University, Germany)

Academic Developer and Researcher (Sheffield Hallam University Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, UK)

Korea Foundation Postdoc Research Fellowship (Leeds University, UK)

Visiting Lecturer in Korean Literature (Sheffield University, UK)

Industrial relevance

I regularly provide consultancy assistance to companies working on Korean beauty cultures or on sociological and cultural aspects of cosmetic surgery and anti-ageing a in South Korea.

Teaching overview

ASIA3006 Contemporary Korean Society
KORE2811 Readings in Korean Language and Culture
GEND3903 Screening Gender
ASIA2004 Asian Popular Culture
KORE2401 and KORE2402(Intermediate Korean)
HERI5105 Heritage and Development in Asia
ASIA5002 Critical Cultural Engagement in Asia

Courses taught previously:
Contemporary Korean Society
Colonial Korean Literature
Contemporary Korean Literature (undergraduate and postgraduate)
Korean Culture and Society though Critical Feminist Theory (postgraduate)
North and South Korean Cultural Politics (undergraduate and postgraduate)
Introduction to Korean Studies (undergraduate)
Disciplining the Body: A Critical Theory Course (postgraduate)
Modern Korean Literature (1910-1950s)


My research interests are all in one way or another concerned with Korean Studies and cultural sociology of the body in Korea in particular, and I am currently completing a manuscript tentatively titled “Cosmetic Matters: Beauty Cultures and the Body in Korea”. In addition to beauty and cultural sociology, my work is concerned with cultural gerontology and ageing in South Korea, as well as Korean popular culture in its myriad forms including cinema, television and popular music.
My current Academy of Korean Studies funded research project (2017-20180 focuses on analysing how beauty is consumed in every day contexts by less obvious consumers of beauty (such as older women over 65 and middle aged men) and what social meanings are attached to appropriate presentation of self and maintaining attractive appearance.




  • Beauty
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Popular Culture In Asia
  • Korean Cinema
  • Ageing
  • South Korea
  • North Korea
  • Cosmetic surgery in Korea
  • Korean literature
  • South Korean pop culture and gender
  • Korean cultural diplomacy
  • Korean overseas development in Africa

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jo Elfving-Hwang is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 53 Similar Profiles
cosmetics Social Sciences
surgery Social Sciences
South Korea Social Sciences
beauty Social Sciences
Republic of Korea Medicine & Life Sciences
aesthetics Social Sciences
Beauty Medicine & Life Sciences
Internationality Medicine & Life Sciences

Research Output 2003 2020

Competency as an Embodied Social Practice: Clothing, Presentation of Self and Corporate Masculinity in South Korea

Elfving-Hwang, J., 2020, (Accepted/In press) Making It Like Man: Men, Masculinities and the Modern Career. Hoegaerds, J. & Aarvik, K. (eds.). Walter de Gruyter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

South Korea

The Body, Cosmetic Surgery and the Discourse of Westernization of Korean Bodies

Elfving-Hwang, J., 2020, (Accepted/In press) The Routledge Companion to Politics of Beauty. Craig, M. (ed.). 2 ed. Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

K-pop fans are creative, dedicated and social - we should take them seriously

Elfving-Hwang, J., 2 Jul 2019, The Conversation.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

K-Pop Idols, Artificial Beauty and Affective Fan Relationships in South Korea

Elfving-Hwang, J. K., 5 Mar 2018, Handbook of Celebrity Studies. Elliot, A. (ed.). London: Routledge, p. 190-201

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Projects 2014 2019


university teacher

UWA Excellence in Teaching Award

Jo Elfving-Hwang (Recipient), 21 Jun 2019

Prize: Award


Activities 2014 2018

  • 3 Membership of board/school board or association

Korean Studies Association of Australasia (External organisation)

Jo Elfving-Hwang (Chair)
2018 → …

Activity: MembershipsMembership of board/school board or association

Australia Korea Business Council of Western Australia (External organisation)

Jo Elfving-Hwang (Member)
2016 → …

Activity: MembershipsMembership of board/school board or association

Korean Studies Association of Australasia (External organisation)

Jo Elfving-Hwang (Member)

Activity: MembershipsMembership of board/school board or association

Press / Media

The Pressure to Be Beautiful in South Korea

Jo Elfving-Hwang


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media

K-pop in the #Me-Too Era

Jo Elfving-Hwang


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media