Nancy Abelmann was Professor of Anthropology, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Illinois from 1990 to 2007, and Harry E. Preble Professor of Anthropology, Asian American Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, and Women and Gender Studies from 2007 until her death in 2016. As a leading scholar in Korean and Asian American studies, her research focused on a wide array of themes such as class, education, migration, and social mobility. Professor Abelmann served as a mentor for the Korean Studies Workshop for Junior Faculty and Dissertation Writers of the Social Science Research Council. She served as president of the Society for Urban and Transnational Anthropology, as a member of the Korea Advisory Board of the Social Science Research Council, and as a member of the Korea Foundation North American Advisory Committee. Nancy Abelmann was on the editorial boards of Anthropological Quarterly, Asian Educational Media Service, Asian Journal of Women's Studies, Journal of Korean and Japanese Cinema, Korea Journal, Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, and Social Science History, as well as the book award committees of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS) Northeast Asian Council, the Society for East Asian Anthropology, the Society for Urban and Transnational Anthropology, and the Association for Asian American Studies.
Nancy Abelmann's papers include correspondence, notes, budgets, and reports pertaining to organizations and initiatives established by her, such as the American University Meets the Pacific Century (AUPC) project, the Ethnography of the University Initiative (EUI), and the Korean Family in Comparative Perspective (KFCP) laboratory, as well as Professor Abelmann' talks, course materials, interview notes, and correspondence regarding book projects. Among Nancy Abelmann's Korean research materials included in this collection are notes, newspaper clippings, maps, plans, and photographs concerning the Samyang Corporation and the Nonghwal student volunteering program. Also included are Abelmann's undergraduate and graduate school notes, papers, field statements, dissertation outlines, as well as field research notes, primary sources, and rare secondary literature in Korean. Part of the collection consists of audiovisual material such as photographs and slides from Nancy Abelmann's dissertation research in Korea and cassettes and microcassettes containing her interviews with Korean students and their parents.
The collection is arranged into four series: Series 1: Subject Files, 1982-2014, arranged alphabetically; Series 2: Research Files, 1982-2013, arranged alphabetically, with undergraduate and graduate school documentation listed first; Series 3: Audiovisual Material, ca. 1985-2004, arranged by format, with photographs and slides listed first, and cassettes and microcassettes listed alphabetically; Series 4: Digital Files.