Young-Key Kim-Renaud

Alt Text

Young-Key Kim-Renaud



Fax: (202) 994-1512

Full CV (.pdf) [updated February 11, 2024]

Short CV (PDF)

Dr. Young-Key Kim-Renaud is Professor Emeritus of Korean Language and Culture and International Affairs, and Senior Advisor to the Institute for Korean Studies, at George Washington University, where she taught for 32 years and served as Chair of the East Asian Languages and Literatures Department for the last 12 years of her tenure before retiring in 2015. She is the founder and convener of the Hahn Moo-Sook Colloquium in the Korean Humanities series at GW. While at GW, she was invited to teach at the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University and at the School of Foreign Studies at Nanjing University, China. Before joining GW, she was a Linguistics Program Director at the U.S. National Science Foundation. As a pioneer in Teaching Korean as a Foreign Language and in Korean Linguistics, she began to teach Korean at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1963. Her publications on Korean linguistics and Korean humanities include 13 books. She is past President of the International Circle of Korean Linguistics (1990-92) and former Editor-in-Chief of its journal, Korean Linguistics (2002-14).

Dr. Kim-Renaud has organized major academic and cultural events concerned with Korean studies. She has received major research awards and grants, including three Fulbright awards, twice for Korea and once for Jordan. She has won individual research grants from the Korea Foundation, the Korea Research Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Social Science Research Council, the Academy of Korean Studies, and the ROK Arts and Culture Foundation. She has received program and institutional grants for GW from the Korea Foundation, the Korea Research Foundation, as well as the ROK Ministries of Education, of Information, and of Culture. She has also won support for GW's Korean program from the Consortium of Universities of the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area, among others.

Keen on philanthropy, Dr. Kim-Renaud helped raise six endowment funds in Korean studies at GW, the most recent one to create a faculty position in Korean literature/humanities. She has received prestigious prizes including three Fulbright awards, the Republic of Korea Order of Cultural Merit, and the Samsung Bichumi Award (Women of the Year) in Korea.

Dr. Kim-Renaud has testified in U.S. courts for both criminal and civil cases and has been interviewed by major news media of the world, including the U.S. National Public Radio, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, CBS, and Fox News, The Daily Telegraph-UK, El Mercurio-Chile, The Japan Times, CGTN-China, and the Korean KBS, MBC, YTN, and Segye Times.

Dr. Kim-Renaud was inducted into two honor societies, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Delta, and she was elected to the Cosmos Club in 2000. In 2002, some thirty colleagues from all around the world contributed articles for a Festschrift dedicated to her entitled Pathways into Korean Language and Culture: Essays in Honor of Young-Key Kim-Renaud. In 2003, she received the Global Korea Award (GKA) from the Council on Korean Studies at Michigan State University. On the Korean Alphabet Day, October 9, 2006, Dr. Kim-Renaud received the Republic of Korea Order of Cultural Merit, Jade Class (Taehanmin'guk Okkwan Munhwa Hunjang) for her life-time contribution to the advancement of Korean language and culture. In 2008 she was chosen as the winner of a Bichumi Grand Award by the Samsung Life Foundation in Korea as the Woman of the Year for Public Service. In 2012, she won the “New Writer of the Year Award” from the Korean Literary Society of Washington.

Media appearances:

Dr. Kim-Renaud has been interested in a wide range of research topics in both language and culture. Her Ph.D. dissertation on Korean consonantal phonology written in 1974 is still one of the frequently cited works in Korean linguistics. However, her work and curiosity broadened to encompass other subfields of linguistics such as writing, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and variation/historical linguistics, as they are inter-related. She has explored two Korean linguistic phenomena that are closely shared by Japanese: sound symbolism and honorifics. One of her ongoing research areas is how language change reflects social change. 

Her forthcoming publications include the following two chapters in edited volumes:

  1. “Phonology: An overview,” [First content chapter] in Sungdai Cho and John Whitman, eds., The Cambridge Handbook of Korean Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021: 17-62.
  2. “Korean Language, Power, and National Identify,” in Andrew David Jackson, ed., Internationalising Korea: Essays on Korean Language, Culture and Diasporas in an Age of Globalization. London: Palgrave MacMillan

A theoretical linguist with a broad interest in the Korean humanities and Asian affairs, Dr. Kim-Renaud has published widely on Korean linguistics, the Korean writing system, language and society, language and politics, cross-cultural communications, Korean cultural history and current affairs. Her publications include thirteen books: Korean Consonantal Phonology (PDF) (Tower Press 1975; reprinted by Hanshin Publishing 1991 and 1995); Studies in Korean Linguistics: Followed by an Interview with Noam Chomsky (PDF) (Hanshin Publishing, 1986); The Korean Alphabet: Its History and Structure (PDF) (University of Hawaii Press, 1997); Theoretical Issues in Korean Linguistics (PDF) (CSLI, Stanford University, 1994); Studies in Korean Syntax and Semantics by Susumu Kuno et al. (PDF), co-edited with John B. Whitman (International Circle of Korean Linguistics, 2004); King Sejong the Great: The Light of 15th-Century Korea (PDF) (International Circle of Korean Linguistics, 1992, 1997), translated into Korean (Sin’gu Publishing, 1998) and into German (Edition Peperkorn, 2002); Creative Women of Korea: From the Fifteenth Century to the Twentieth Century (PDF) (M. E. Sharpe, 2003); And So Flows History, English translation of Hahn Moo-Sook's Korean original, Yoksanŭn hŭrŭnda (University of Hawaii Press, 2005); P’ungyohan pujae (Plentiful Absence) II (PDF): A Festschrift in Honor of Paengnong Jin-Heung Kim, co-edited with Hoagy Kim (Salmgwa Kkum Publishing Co., 2006); Korean: An Essential Grammar (PDF) (London: Routledge, 2009); Wŏshingt’ŏn Munhak (Korean Literature of Washington) 19 (PDF), an anthology of the works by the members of The Korean Literary Society of Washington (Seoul: Worin Publishing Company, 2016.); [co-authored with Nam-Il Kim and 18 others] 독도7 26분」 (PDF) (Tokto 7:26 AM, Human & Books, 2018); and [co-authored with Miok Pak] The Routledge Course in Business Korean (PDF) (Routledge, 2018).  She has edited three biennial issues and four biannual issues of the Korean Linguistics journal, and published numerous scholarly articles and book chapters.

Dr. Kim-Renaud received a B.A. in English from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, Korea; an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley; a graduate degree in French from Sorbonne, University of Paris; and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Hawai‘i. She also studied German at Heidelberg University, Spanish at the University of Madrid, and Chinese at Nanjing University.