Kira Donnell, PhD
Lecturer Faculty, Asian American Studies; Faculty Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) at SF State's Center for Equity and Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Office: EP 414
2015 Year of first appointment as Lecturer Faculty in Asian American Studies
Lecturer Faculty Biography
Cultural Studies, Asian American Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, Korean American Studies, Korean Studies, Critical Adoption Studies, Critical Mixed Race Studies, Cinema, Literature, Creative Writing
- December 2019: PhD Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley
- May 2013: MA Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley
- May 2010: MA Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University
- December 2005: BA English, Minor Program in the Environment, University of Michigan
2014 and 2013
- UC Berkeley Department of Ethnic Studies Block Grant
- UC Berkeley Institute for East Asian Studies' Center for Korean Studies Summer Fellowship
Eugene V. Cota-Robles Diversity Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley
Graduated with Honors, 2010 (San Francisco State University MA)
- Korean American Scholarship Foundation award recipient
- National Institute for International Education Homecoming Program
- 210 History of Asians in the United States
- 211 Contemporary Asian Americans
- 216 Introduction to Asian American Literature
- 360 Koreans in the United States
- 696 Critical Approaches to Asian American Studies
- 800 Theory and History in Asian American Studies
Association of Korean Adoptees, Past President
Professor Donnell’s research focuses on Korean adoptees as individuals with agency and the development of an individual and collective Korean adoptee identity. As a Korean adoptee, she is personally connected to her work and strives to help contribute to a growing body of research in the nascent field of Korean Adoption Studies. Her research focuses on the cultural ramifications and representations of the transnational Korean adoption industry. In particular, she is interested in the ways in which both U.S. and South Korean media have appropriated the figure of the Korean orphan to construct narratives of collective nationalism. Through the analysis of popular film and media, she traces the evolving portrayals of Korean orphans and transnational adoptees in U.S. and South Korean cultural productions to demonstrate how these countries have co-opted the figure of the Korean orphan to engender feelings of patriotism, nationalism, and belonging in its citizens.
- Leopardo, Nicole, Kira Donnell, and Wei Ming Dariotis. “Rooted in Love and Fire: Critical Mixed Race Studies as Radical Affirmation.” Multiracial People and Higher Education: Understanding and Addressing the Experiences of Students, Faculty, and Staff, edited by Marc J. Guerrero and Charmaine Wijeyesinghe, Stylus Publishing, 2021.
- Donnell, Kira A. “Review of Disrupting Kinship: Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States.” Adoption & Culture, vol 8, no. 2, 2020 pp. 265-70.
- Donnell, Kira. Orphan, Adoptee, Nation: Tracing the Korean Orphan and Adoptee through South Korean and American National Narratives. Dissertation. University of California, Berkeley, 2019.
- Donnell, Kira A. “Review of Disrupting Kinship: Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States.” Adoption & Culture, vol. 7, no. 2, 2019, pp. 290–93.
- Choi, Stephen, et al. “Korean Studies in the Global Humanities: A Roundtable Discussion.” Journal of Korean Studies, edited by Stephen Choi, vol. 24, no. 2, Oct. 2019, pp. 393–410.
- Donnell, Kira. “Review of To Save the Children of Korea: The Cold War Origins of International Adoption.” Adoption & Culture, vol. 6, no. 2, 2018, pp. 401–03.
- Donnell, Kira. “Crossing the Borderlands: A Transdisciplinary Contextualization of Overseas Korean Adoption and Adoptee Decolonization.” Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies. Eds. Tobias Hübinette et al. Seoul: International Korean Adoptee Associations, 2013. 75–82.
- Leong, Jonathan, Kira A. Donnell, and Emily Avila. “Lives Were Saved: The Asian American Donor Program.” Eds. Grace Yoo, Mai Nhung Le, and Alan Oda. Handbook of Asian American Health. New York: Springer Publishing, 2012. 363-374.
- Donnell, Kira. “Passings and Transgressions: The Korean Adoptee Experience.” Koreans in America: History, Identity, and Community. Ed. Grace J. Yoo. 1st ed. San Diego: Cognella, 2012. 131–143.
- Lagman, Regina A., Grace J. Yoo, Ellen G. Levine, Kira A. Donnell, and Holly R. Lim. “‘Leaving It to God’ Religion and Spirituality among Filipina Immigrant Breast Cancer Survivors.” Journal of Religion and Health 53.2 (2014): 449–460. Published online 2012.
- Donnell, Kira. The Claiming of Identity, Agency, and Advocacy in Korean Adoptee Literature. Thesis. San Francisco State University, 2010.
- Donnell, Kira. “The Invisible Wall: A Study on the Separation of Korean Adoptees and Korean Americans in California.” Journal of Korean Adoption Studies. 1.1 (Summer 2009): 107-132.
Creative Writing Publications
- Donnell, Kira. “Arirang.” Asian Americans in Michigan. Ed. Sook Wilkinson. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2015.
- Donnell, Kira. “Poetry Written by Korean Adoptees.” Ed. Grace J. Yoo. Koreans in America: History, Identity, and Community. San Diego: University Readers, Inc., 2011.
- Donnell, Kira. “Epistolary.” More Voices: A Collection of Works from Asian Adoptees. Ed. Susan Soonkeum Cox. St. Paul: Yeong & Yeong Book Company, 2011.
- Donnell, Kira. “Unfinished.” More Voices: A Collection of Works from Asian Adoptees. Ed. Susan Soonkeum Cox. St. Paul: Yeong & Yeong Book Company, 2011.
- Donnell, Kira. “Lines to My Mother.” Korean Quarterly. 7.4 (Summer 2004).
- Donnell, Kira. “Divinations Through Korean Takeout.” Korean Quarterly. 7.4 (Summer 2004).
- Donnell, Kira. “Mine.” Korean Quarterly. 7.4 (Summer 2004).