Dr. Michelle Choi is the Program Manager at Harvard’s Korea Institute, where she leads three major academic programmatic initiatives in 1) Korean political economy and international relations, 2) Korean art and performance, and 3) the Korean diaspora.

She graduated with a PhD from Harvard University's Department of Anthropology in May 2021. Her dissertation explored the professional world of South Korean "unification preparation." In broad strokes, she is interested in nationalism, future, labor, and media. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, and the Harvard Committee of General Scholarships, and has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Korean Unification Studies.

Before she joined the Korea Institute, Dr. Choi was the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies & Lecturer at Harvard University's Department of Anthropology. As part of the Undergraduate Program Team, she managed the undergraduate concentration program and advised undergraduate students who concentrate in Social Anthropology. She also taught courses on anthropology, Korea, research design, academic writing, and more.


Research and Teaching Keywords:

  • Nationalism and power
  • Future and uncertainty
  • Contemporary Koreas
  • Korean division and unification
  • New forms of media and labor
  • Ethnographic methods


Spring 2022 Teaching: 

ANTHRO 1991: Anthropology of the Future

ANTHRO 98b: Junior Tutorial

ANTHRO 99b: Senior Tutorial


Fall 2021 Teaching: 

ANTHRO 91zr: Supervised Reading and Research in Social Anthropology

ANTHRO 98a: Junior Tutorial

ANTHRO 99a: Senior Tutorial 



PhD Dissertation Title:

"Unification Preparation" in South Korea: The Professional Labor of Preparing for a Future Scenario