Amy Hyunjin Kim

Kim, Amy - Honors student spotlight


Name: Amy Hyunjin Kim


Romance Languages Honors

If you were a superhero, who would it be?/If you had a super power, what would it be?

If I had a superpower, I would like to teleport. I think teleporting would allow me to be anywhere and save a lot of time from small things like getting to school earlier every morning to travelling the world and exploring different cultures!

I mean think of everything you could do if you could transport yourself anywhere in the world without having to do anything but imagine! Petit-déjeuner in the middle of Paris, Phô in Vietnam for lunch and Fiorentina steak and pasta in Italy for dinner... How amazing would that be?!

What spurred you on to be an Honors student in the department?

I wanted to be in the Honors program because I wanted to challenge my limits academically. I wanted to be able to dig deeper into things that I am passionate about and I thought that the Honors program would help me do that. I think it was the right choice, being in the program makes me grow as a person- it forces me to think about what I like/dislike, what I want to study and learn more about and helps me discover my passions in the field of academics.

What is the best thing about being an Honors student in the department of MLCS?

The best thing about being an Honors student like many other feature students on this page is probably meeting new people and getting to know the community. It's a very friendly and open environment where you get to learn about a lot of different and cool things people are working on, they inspire you and provide great suggestions and ideas. You get to make good and kind friends. Also the professors and librarians are so helpful and supportive, they really have a passion for what they do and have so much genuine interest in what you want to do. It's really a community, everyone helps each other out.

Cause(s) you care about

I am passionate about the environment/sustainability, feminism and women's rights, diversity of representation and right to education. These are causes that are relevant to me as a young adult Asian-Canadian woman, something that touches me personally.

Tell us about a topic you are excited to do research about (e.g., your current Honors thesis)

I am still exploring my options and developing my research thesis but I want to focus on translation and representation of diversity. At times concepts such as feminism or diversity of gender, sexuality, notions that are considered "fairly modern" are translated into a target language where it is not familiar or accepted within the target audience. For example, sometimes gay characters of a novel are changed to have a platonic relationship or notions of sexuality is not mentioned or omitted in the translation. Or sometimes certain gender neutral words have different connotations in that language but it is ignored and used. I would like to look specifically at how the attitude of the target audience influences strongly the translation of the original text, the translator choices and specific cases of how the diversity of gender, sexuality is conveyed through cultures.

Any (survival) tip(s) you would like to share with fresh MLCS Honors students?

A lot of featured students have said this and I will say it again, definitely take advantage of the resources that you have around you, librarians, professors, classmates...etc. There is a reason why people recommend it, it's really helpful in finding your research path and overcoming certain problems within your research.

Also, be organized and keep looking for different opportunities like scholarships as well as UAlberta Research opportunities, study abroad programs, student clubs or volunteering groups. Being proactive gets you a long way, you have to make your own opportunities and connections. I've found that connecting with different communities on campus has broadened my perspectives and allowed me to understand diverse concepts better.

The first thing you plan do after graduating.

I want to take some time off for myself and connect with my extended family. I moved from Korea when I was very little and I'm not really close with any of my family members except my relative nuclear family. I would like to get to know them and perhaps work a little in Korea. My entire degree is about studying European culture, languages and history. I want to connect with my roots and my culture, something that I've never had too much time to do and understand my own history before continuing to explore deeper in academics!