Katri Kauhanen profile picture
Doctoral Researcher, Centre for East Asian Studies
Doctoral Researcher, MA


Areas of expertise

Korean history and society
Korean Studies
East Asian Studies
Cold War


I am a doctoral researcher at the Centre for East Asian Studies (CEAS). My field of specialization is Korean Studies. In my doctoral dissertation I examine the development of South Korean women's movement and its transnational networks during the Cold War. 

I am historian by training; I finished my Master's Degree in European and World History, University of Turku in 2014. I have studied Gender Studies, East Asian Studies, Comparative Religion, Contemporary History and Finnish History. In 2012, I spent one semester in Kyunghee University, South Korea, as an exchange student studying Korean history, cultural anthropology and geography. In addition, I have studied Korean language in Kyunghee University and Ewha Womans University, Seoul.

Since 2019 I have been working outside academia, in tasks related to communications, marketing, education management and project coordinating, while conducting my research only part-time. 


I have participated teaching at CEAS on various lectures and seminars. My teaching interests include Korean gender history and politics, the legacies of authoritarian era in South Korea, role of Christianity in Korea, to name a few. For two years I instructed a debating course where emphasis was given to students' interaction and argumentation skills (Debating Korean History, 2 ECTS). In 2021 I participated on planning and creating an online course, Gender in East Asian Sociopolitical Context.

I have completed the Basics of University Pedagogics, one-year pedagogical training (10 ECTS) in 2017-2018. 


The main theme of my dissertation research is Cold War feminism; how feminism was interpreted in the context of the Cold War, what kind of contents and values it carried and what gets named as feminism. I approach Cold War feminism from Korean perspective and analyze how (South) Korean women were intertwined to the international women's movement during the Cold War. I move between transnational and national contexts when tracing the connections Korean women had with the international women's organizations and the motivations they shared to work towards gender equality. In this process, issues like the authoritarian and democratic forces in South Korea, international legitimacy and the role of the United Nations get also analyzed. I contribute on the growing literature that views the Cold War from the gender perspective and fill the gaps in Korean women's history and history of non-white, non-Western feminism.

Methodologically I am interested in archival research and the use of narratives in historical research.

In 2017 I was the recipient of Korean Studies Dissertation Workshop Fellowship by the Social Science Research Council. I have participated in various conferences and workshops in the field of Korean/Asian Studies to present my research. See below a list of selected presentations: 

  • "Korean women and the Cold War feminism" Paper presented at the 29th Association for Korean Studies in Europe Conference, April 2019. Rome, Italy.
  • “Korean Women and Transnational Feminism during the Early Cold War." Paper presented at the International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War, May 2018. London, UK. 
  • “The Korean National Council of Women, transnational feminism and the Cold War." Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, March 2018. Washington DC, US.
  • “Networks among elite women in authoritarian South Korea." Paper presented at the 4th Historical Network Research  Conference, October 2017. University of Turku, Finland. 
  • “How methods matter? A historical network analysis on the mobilization of a women's organization." Paper presented at the 14th Korean Studies Graduate Students Conference in Europe, October 2017. University of Tübingen, Germany. 
  • “Mobilized women and mass dictatorship in the Cold War South Korea." Paper presented at the 10th Conference of the Nordic Association of Japanese and Korean Studies (NAJAKS), August 2016. University of Stockholm, Sweden.   
  • “Ordinary (wo)men or ordinary Koreans? Women's movement, militarism and collective memory in South Korea from 1960s to 1980s. Paper presented at the Korean History Workshop for Overseas Doctoral Students hosted by Korea Foundation, July 2015. Seoul, South Korea.   


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