Do Own (Donna) Kim


Ph.D. Candidate, Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern CaliforniaKorea Foundation for Advanced Studies (KFAS) Fellowship Alum

Hi, I am Donna, a Ph.D. candidate in Communication at the University of Southern California. I study everyday, playful digital cultures and mediated social interactions. I focus on boundary-crossing practices in human-technology assemblages: being together across diverse "real", "online", "virtual", or "imaginary" places, and among the mundane and the weird, the "normal" and the Other. My dissertation takes a deep dive into boundary crossings in digital reality technology and social media cultures through the lens of the phenomenon of virtual influencers (CGI human social media influencers). What does it mean to be human in mediated communication environments? How do we want to be together?


Digital communication research requires depth and breadth. I specialize in qualitative research, but also have experience with quantitative and mix-methodological research, including interdisciplinary collaborative research. My research interests are at the intersections of technology studies, cultural studies, and computer-mediated communication (CMC)/human-machine communication (HMC). Topically, I have engaged with cases including, but not limited to, mediated places, gender/sexuality, and Korean digital cultures.


Prior to joining USC Annenberg, I received my B.A. degrees in Media & Communication and English Language & Literature from Korea University (2015). I studied at Nagoya University for a year as an exchange student in 2013-14. I have lived in five different countries including South Korea, China, Canada, USA, and Japan, and speak three languages (Korean, English, Japanese). My cross-cultural experiences, together with my internship at Korea's top advertisement/PR company Cheil Worldwide had inspired me to pursue digital communication research.