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Hyewon Hong

Profile picture for Hyewon Hong

Contact Information

435 Gregory Hall
810 S Wright St
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph.D. Student
Teaching Assistant


I was born and educated in Seoul, South Korea. In 2017, I went to Malawi to work as an NGO project manager and research fellow but suffered from severe cerebral malaria there. Observing the tension and conflict between Korean NGO workers and Malawian locals, I decided to study African history focusing on the colonial and post-colonial era. I've been to Philippines and Cambodia as a volunteer worker in my undergraduate years with Jesuit brothers. Furthermore, I have experience of working in an international refugee service NGO in South Korea as a French/English/Korean interpreter.

Research Interests

French West and Sub-Saharan Africa, modern Africa, Colonialism, Decolonization, Post-colonialism, Imperialism, Foreign Aid, International Organizations (especially La Francophonie, Commonwealth and African Union), International NGOs, War and Conflict, Refugees, Women’s Representation in African politics

Research Description

I am exploring my dissertation topic.

As of now, I've written some unpublished papers like below.

  1. Research Proposal, "The secularization of Jesuit Mission After the Independence Era"
  2. Annotated Bibliography, "The Borders and Borderlands of Casamance"
  3. Paper, "Development of African Studies in South Korea : from late 1970s to the present"
  4. Paper, "The History of South Korean Perspective on Malawi: From 1950s to the Present"


Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, History (in progress)

B.A. Sogang University (Seoul, South Korea), French Culture/Political Science


Name Date
Summer Pre-dissertation Research Travel Grant (UIUC, History Department) April 2022
John and Judith Steinberg-Alfonsi Scholarship (UIUC, History Department) September 2021
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign History/University Fellowship August 2020 – May 2021
Korean Government Scholarship (not accepted) August 2020



Courses Taught

HIST100 - Global History (Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, TA)

HIST213 - African Muslim Societies (Fall 2023, TA)