(Re)visioning Kinship: Photographies of U.S.-Korean Adoption since 1953


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History


This dissertation considers the role of photography in the development and practice of U.S.-Korean adoption since its beginnings during the Korean War (1950–53) to the present. Using methods of visual and material culture studies; critical autoethnography; and critical race theory, the project argues that the popular press, bureaucratic, vernacular, and fine art photographies subtending and responding to transnational adoption have shaped not only the processes of adoption, but also American ideals of race, family, and citizenship by using varied media to examine the ways in which adoption has been produced as a means of humanitarian empire-building, a marketplace, a non-normative mode of kinship, and a site of identity negotiations.