Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies


CI 109

Youngrim Kim studies the role of digital platforms and data-driven systems in relation to state institutions and governance. She examines how state institutions build and utilize digital technologies to manage complex governance challenges, especially in cases of imminent public health or environmental crises. How do these media and information systems shape the ways we make sense of, and react to, global catastrophic events? Bringing together scholarships in digital studies, critical data studies, and science and technology studies, Kim conducts interdisciplinary research that investigates how crisis response technologies developed for public interest reconfigure state-society relations in moments of risk, uncertainty, and disturbance.

Her current book project, tentatively titled, “Databasing Latent Bodies: Disease Surveillance, Data Publics, and Coded Injustice in South Korea,” critically examines South Korea’s data-driven governance of public health crisis through the cases of two infectious disease outbreaks – 2015 MERS epidemic and COVID-19. Drawing from 16 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Seoul, South Korea, her project illustrates how these crisis response technologies should be considered as contested sites of nation-building where different ideas about citizenship, belonging, and national futures are negotiated.


University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Ph.D., Communication and Media

Seoul National University
M.A., Communication

University of California, Berkeley
B.A., Media studies

Selected Publications

Love, T. & Kim, Y. (forthcoming). Squid Game and the Imagining of Afro-Asian Connections through Black Twitter Memescapes. Communication, Culture & Critique.

Kim, Y., Chen, Y. & Liang, F. (2021). Engineering care in pandemic techno-governance: The politics of care in China and South Korea's COVID-19 tracking apps. New Media and Society.

Kim, Y. (2021). Tracking bodies in question: Telecom companies, mobile data, and surveillance platforms in South Korea's epidemic governance. Information, Communication, and Society.

Kim, Y. (2020). Outbreak news production as a site of tension: Journalists' news-making of global infectious disease. Journalism.

Sonnevend, J. & Kim, Y. (2020). An unlikely seducer: Kim Jong-un’s charm offensive from the PyeongChang Winter Olympics until the Trump–Kim summit. International Journal of Communication, 14: 1398–1420.

Awards & Recognitions

2021 American Association of University of Women (AAUW) International Fellowship

2021 Top Student Paper Award, International Communication Association (ICA), Communication and Technology Division

Research Keywords