An educator and researcher whose work uses adoption as a lens to understand race and culture, Kim Park Nelson is an associate professor in the American Multicultural Studies program at Minnesota State University, Moorhead.
Park Nelson is the author of Invisible Asians: Korean American Adoptees, Asian American Experiences and Racial Exceptionalism (Rutgers University Press, Spring 2016). Her work has appeared in multiple anthologies and scholarly journals.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, she was adopted as an infant and grew up in the United States. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, where she also developed and taught the first college-level course exclusively focused on Korean transnational adoption.
In 2007, Park Nelson was the lead organizer of the First International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies, held in conjunction with the International Korean Adoptee Associations (IKAA) Gathering of Korean Adoptees in Seoul. This interdisciplinary symposium brought together scholars from around the world to advance research on transnational adoption and share information with the adoptee community. Following the success of the 2007 Symposium, she returned to lead the organizing committees in 2010 and 2013. She delivered keynote addresses at the Fourth International Symposium on Korean Adoption Studies in August of 2016 at at the KAAN Conference in 2017.
She is a former co-chair of the Executive Committee of the Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture (ASAC) and was the chair of the Minneapolis-based site committee for the ASAC conference in October of 2016. She is also a past member of the Board of Directors of AK Connection.
She has been interviewed on the topic of Korean and other international adoption by Public Radio International and public radio affiliates in Minnesota, Wisconsin and California, and by a variety of local and national publications including the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
Park Nelson’s research and teaching interests include Asian American studies, race and ethnic studies, food studies, film and popular culture as well as adoption. She lives in Minneapolis.