Nadia Kim is Claudius M. Easley, Jr. Faculty Fellow Professor of Sociology at Texas A&M University (and formerly of Loyola Marymount University). She attended public schools, graduated magna cum laude at University of California-Santa Barbara (English and Sociology), and received her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where she was an American Sociological Association Minority Fellow. She was also a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego, a visiting scholar at UCLA’s California Center for Population Research (2011-12) and a Thomas Tam Visiting Professor (CUNY Graduate Center & Asian American/Asian Research Institute, 2018-19).

Her research focuses on how structural, systemic, and global racisms shape nativism and citizenship, environmental health (in)justice, the body/embodiment and emotions/mental health (esp. in relation to the environment), comparative racialization of Latinxs, Asian Americans, and Black Americans, and theory. Throughout her work, Kim’s approach centers (neo)imperialism, transnationality, and the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and citizenship.

Dr. Kim’s newest single-authored book Refusing Death: Immigrant Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice in LA (Stanford University Press) examines race and citizenship with respect to the growing social phenomenon of marginalized and unauthorized immigrants – especially women and youth – making political inroads by way of grassroots activism, at times, sidestepping the need for formal political channels. By way of nearly four years of ethnographic observation, in-depth interviews, and documents analysis of Asian American and Latin@ environmental health justice activism in the industrial-port belt of Los Angeles, she finds that these mostly female immigrant activists view their work as much more than an effort to spare their children’s lungs from the grey plumes of cargo ships and oil refineries; they are also redefining notions of politics, community, and citizenship in the face of America’s nativist racism and its system of class injustice, defined by disproportionate pollution and neglected schools, surveillance/deportation, and political marginalization. By inventively dovetailing all of these dimensions, the women show that they are highly conscious of how environmental and educational harms are an assault on their bodies and emotions (physical and mental health); hence, they center embodied and affective strategies to uniquely challenge the neoliberal state’s neglect and betrayal and, ultimately, to refuse death. Thus far, this book has been honored by 9 academic book award competitions and 1 general competition.

With Dr. Pawan Dhingra, Kim has also co-edited Disciplinary Futures: Sociology in Conversation with American, Ethnic, and Indigenous Studies, a volume that addresses how sociology (and other social sciences) benefit from engaging with the humanities and more interdisciplinary scholarship, especially in relation to race/racism/white supremacy. For a limited time discount, input DISCIPLINARY30-FM on Pre-order now (June 2023 release)!

Kim is also author of the single-authored book Imperial Citizens: Koreans and Race from Seoul to LA (Stanford, 2008), an exploration of how immigrants navigate American race inequality and ideology (owing to US power abroad) not just after US arrival but before it, and through transnationally connecting both societies. Imperial Citizens won two American Sociological Association (ASA) awards in 2009: Book of the Year Award from the Asia and Asian America section and the Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award from the Racial and Ethnic Minorities section. She also won two ASA Early Career Awards (one from each section) in part because of the book and and has won three top awards for single- and co-authored research articles from the American Sociological Association and other academic organizations. She has (co)authored articles in anthologies and volumes of the top academic journals, such as Social Forces, Social Problems, International Migration Review, and The Du Bois Review. She and/or her work have been featured (inter)nationally on Red Table Talk, National Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, Radio Korea, local TV news and in The Washington PostThe Chronicle of Higher Education, (MS)NBC News, The Boston Globe, The Korea Times, NYLON Magazine, among others.

Kim grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland and in Los Angeles, has lived in Seoul and Florence/Firenze, and has traversed the world to see her diasporic family – São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Toronto, Daegu. She is a singer, animal lover/pescatarian, and proud stamp collector, and has long been active in social justice efforts for environmental justice, affirmative action, and for immigrants and women of color.