Asian American history and culture, Los Angeles history and culture, urban communities, music and social practice, immigration, public history, vernacular landscape.
- Curator, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage 2011 -
- Curator, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County 2008 - 2010
- Curator, Japanese American National Museum 1998 - 2008
Education And Training
Awards And Honors
Sojin Kim is a curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, a research and education department that collaborates with communities in the U.S. and around the world on cultural heritage policy and cultural sustainability issues. She works on projects focusing on migration, music, and public history—with particular attention to the production of collective memory through performance, archives/collections, and the use of public space. She was co-curator of the following Smithsonian Folklife Festival programs: D.C.: The Social Power of Music (2019), On the Move: Migration Across Generations (2017), Sounds of California (2016), and China: Tradition and the Art of Living (2014).
Sojin holds a Ph.D. in folklore and mythology from UCLA. She previously worked as a curator at the Japanese American National Museum and the Natural History Museum of LA County; and as a coordinator for the LA Central Library’s "Shades of LA" project. She serves on the board of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP).
Other Research Activities
- Washington, DC, Asian American Historic Context Statement Research team 2020 - 2023
- Kim, Sojin. 2019. "Train Tracks: A Transcontinental Railroad Playlist." Folklife Magazine, 2019
- Kim, Sojin. 2011. "A Grain of Sand: Music for the Struggle of Asians in America." Smithsonian Folkways Magazine, 2011
- Kim, Sojin. 2020. "The Royal Pocket Tour: Hearing Go-Go's Ancestral Beat." Smithsonian Folklife Festival Washington, DC: Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage/Folklife Festival. Nov 20, 2020. https://festival.si.edu/blog/royal-pocket-tour-go-go. 2020
- Kim, Sojin. 2019. "Writ Large: The Art of CHELOVE and MASPAZ." Folklife Magazine Washington, DC: Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Apr 24, 2019. https://folklife.si.edu/magazine/writ-large-art-chelove-maspaz. 2019
- Kim, Sojin. 2014. "Just Dance: Connecting Life, Death, Traditions, and Communities in Los Angeles." Folklife Magazine Washington, DC: Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Aug 25, 2014. https://folklife.si.edu/talkstory/2014/just-dance-connecting-life-death-traditions-and-communities-in-l-a. 2014
- Kim, Sojin. 2023. "K.W. Lee: The Godfather of Korean American Journalism." In Sa-I-Gu: Korean & Asian American Journalists Writing Truth to Power. Umemoto, Karen, Leong, Russell, Kim, Soo Mee, and Leus, Vince, editors. Los Angeles, California: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press. 2023
- Kim, Sojin. 2017. "Pulling at the Threads: A Korean American Diptych." In Many Voices, One Nation: Material Culture Reflections on Race and Migration in the United States. Salazar-Porzio, Margaret, Troyano, Joan Fragaszy, and Safranek, Lauren, editors. 193–204. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. In Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge. 2017
- N'Diaye, Diana Baird, Cadaval, Olivia, and Kim, Sojin. 2016. "Introduction." In Curatorial Conversations: Cultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Cadaval, Olivia, Kim, Sojin, and N'Diaye, Diana Baird, editors. 19. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. 2016
- Kim, Sojin, Gonzalves, Theo, Bùi Davis, Lawrence-Minh, Wong, Deborah, and Traktivist, Richie. 2021. The Power of Music: Beckoning-A Playlist of AAPI Joy, Sorrow, Rage, and Resistance. Smithsonian Magazine. Py-Lieberman, Beth, editor. May 21, 2021 2021
- Kim, Sojin. 2017. Virtuosic Women: NEA National Heritage Fellows on Smithsonian Folkways (a music playlist). Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. 2017
- Cadaval, Olivia, Kim, Sojin, and N'Diaye, Diana Baird, editors. 2016. Curatorial Conversations: Cultural Representation and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi. 2016