Universiteit Leiden

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Yoonai Han

University lecturer

Y. Han
+31 71 527 2551

I am a human geographer with expertise on urban and digital studies. 

Guided by question of “How does dispossession occur in today’s cities?”, I examine how hustling has become a mode of living in cities. 
My ongoing projects draw from ethnographic observations on short-term workers and workspaces in Seoul. I address how the repeatedly unpredictable conditions of short-term working shape the use of time-space, organisation of resources, and sense of the present and the future. I situate hustling and related precarity in the aftermath of fast urbanisation and economic growth in Korea, centering on the changing desires and practices around upward social and spatial mobility. 
My projects are informed by critical urban theories, digital and labour geography, feminist thinking, and East Asian studies.

I came to Leiden Institute for Area Studies (LIAS) in 2023 after finishing PhD in Geography at London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). My doctoral project titled 'Moving in Stuckness: Ethnography on the Time-space of Short-term Workers in Seoul' was funded by LSE Studentship and Kwanjeong Scholarship. 
After obtaining BA and MA in Geography at Seoul National University, I took part in urban social movements on gentrification, eviction, and urban commons in Seoul. Through this time, my research interests expanded from struggles to stay put to the life of those who cannot afford to stay rooted.  

I am committed in knowledge co-production and decolonialisation in teaching, writing, and research, for which I interested in exploring qualitative and mixed methods and perspectives. 

Currently I teach Urban Korea, Methods and Issues in Korean Studies, Themes and Approaches to Korean Studies (BA Korean Studies) and Thesis Seminar (BA International Studies).

University lecturer

  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Leiden Institute for Area Studies
  • SAS Korea
  • No relevant ancillary activities
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