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Meet the Cogut Center's 2008-09
Visiting Professors in the Humanities

David Kyuman Kim
Visiting Professor in the Humanities, Spring 2009

David Kyuman Kim is Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Connecticut College.  Cornel West has called Kim “the leading philosopher of religion and culture of his generation." 

Kim holds a BA in American history from the University of Rochester, and a MDiv and doctorate in philosophy of religion from the Divinity School, Harvard University.  He joined Connecticut College’s Department of Religious Studies in 2003.  In 2005, Kim was named the Inaugural Director of the College’s new Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity.  Under Kim’s leadership, the Center has sponsored scores of public lectures, colloquia, and performances and has developed new curricular initiatives focused on race and ethnic studies. 

Kim’s first book Melancholic Freedom: Agency and the Spirit of Politics was published by Oxford University Press in 2007.  The book was the topic of a major panel at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion in San Diego, featuring commentaries by Judith Butler, Tavis Smiley, and Cornel West.  In December 2007, Kim appeared on the national PBS show the Tavis Smiley Show.  Kim is currently completing a new book project Excessive Modernity: Race, Religion, Memory.  Kim is a co-founder of a number of nationally regarded Asian American initiatives, including the American Academy of Religion’s program unit Asian North American Religions, Cultures, and Society and the Asian Pacific American Religions Research Initiative.  He is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Studies Association, the Association for Asian American Studies, and the American Political Science Association.  In 2007, he joined the editorial board of the political theory journal Theory & Event –– the first scholar of religious studies invited onto the board. 

In addition to his scholarly work in race and ethnic studies, philosophy of religion, political theory, and memory and identity, Kim is also collaborating with the critically acclaimed choreographer David Dorfman on Disavowal, a dance-theatre piece inspired by the life and legacy of the messianic abolitionist John Brown. 

Click here to view Spring HMAN course listings including Prof. Kim's Works of Memory.