Explore the happenings of the Asian Community in Duluth, Johns Creek, and Suwanee.

Russian Wins Over Students with Korean-Studies Classes at SNU

Olga Fedorenko was the first Russian to be appointed an anthropology professor at Seoul National University last year and is now teaching Korean Studies there.
Students were skeptical at first whether the 39-year-old foreigner had much to tell them about their own culture, but their doubts dissipated quickly, and her class is now one of the most popular at SNU.
Fedorenko became interested in Korea at university. “The Asian and African studies department at Moscow University teaches Korean, Chinese and Japanese, and I took Korean so I could understand Korean soaps,” Fedorenko says.
She went on to get an MBA at Yonsei University in 1999 and a Master’s and PhD at the University of Toronto.
From 2012 to 2015 she taught socio-cultural anthropology and Korean Studies, including the history of popular culture and the democracy movement, at New York University.
“When I was teaching at NYU, I was surprised that American students knew more about Korean stars than I did. I wanted to go to Korea and research what it is that is stealing the hearts of young Americans,” she said.
“I want to discover things about Korea that even Koreans don’t know.”

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