Christina Klein’s research focuses on Korean cinema and on America’s cultural encounters with Asia during the Cold War. She earned her B.A. in Film Studies from Wesleyan and her Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. She teaches courses in American Studies methodology, Korean and contemporary Asian cinemas, Hollywood cinema, and American literature. She is the Director of the American Studies Program, Director of the Literature Core Program, and member of the Asian Studies Program steering committee. She is also a research associate at Harvard's Institute of Korean Studies.
Her latest book is Cold War Cosmopolitanism: Period Style in 1950s Korean Cinema (2020). It explores how the waging of the Cold War in Asia shaped postwar Korean film style, especially the work of director Han Hyung-mo. Her first book, Cold War Orientalism: Asia in the Middlebrow Imagination, 1945–1961 (2003), examines popular American representations of Asia in relation to U.S. foreign policy. Her articles and reviews have been published in academic journals across numerous disciplines.
Prof. Klein regularly shares her research with audiences outside the academy. Her critical journalism on contemporary cinema has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The South China Morning Post, The Korea Herald, and the Calcutta Telegraph. She has presented workshops on Cold War history for high school teachers via the National Humanities Center and the Chicago Humanities Council, and delivered public lectures on Asian cinema at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has discussed martial arts films and Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals on BBC radio, Chicago Public Radio, and Canadian radio.
Prof. Klein was a member of the “Beyond the Korean War Project” (2011-2016), an international cultural history research project funded by the Academy of Korean Studies. She has received fellowships from Harvard’s Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History in 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 and was the Mitsui Career Development Professor at MIT (2003-2005), where she taught before coming to Boston College.