BA Korean Studies with Japanese, University of Sheffield
MA Social Research, University of Sheffield
Thesis Title: Normalising HIV: Sexuality, Illness and Stigma in Contemporary South Korea
Academic Supervisors: Dr. Mark Pendleton, Dr Markus Bell
25 April, 2017. South Korean presidential candidate Hong Jun-Pyo is asked during a televised live debate about his thoughts in relation to LGBT+ rights in South Korea. He snorts disapprovingly and states: “Because of homosexuality, there are more than 14,000 AIDS cases in Korea.”
The aim of this ethnographic research is to understand the everyday lived experience of South Koreans that are assigned HIV/AIDS-stigma. The study focuses on the experiences of the LGBT+ community as they are associated with HIV/AIDS, despite the fact that statistically 82% of HIV infection transmissions in South Korea are through sexual contact, three quarters of which take place through heterosexual contact. The aim of the research is to understand how/why has HIV/AIDS become associated historically with homosexuality in South Korea, and how HIV/AIDS-stigma actualises and materialises in the everyday of Korean society.
- EAS250 Modern Japanese History (Spring 2016-17)
- EAS6208 Media, Culture and Society in East Asia (Fall, 2017)
Funding and Awards
- University of Sheffield White Rose ESRC DTC 1+3 Discipline Scholarship Award 2015-2019
- Academy of Korea Studies 한국학중앙연구원 Graduate Fellow, 2018
- Kuusisto, S. (2018) Government policies fuel South Korea’s HIV epidemic. East Asia Forum. [online]
- Kuusisto, S. (2017) Base Encounters: The US Armed Forces in South Korea. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 3, Pages: 286-288.