Timothy Gitzen

Post-doctoral Fellow, The Society of Fellows in the Humanities

  • tgitzen@hku.hk

  • Rm 1, Run Run Shaw Heritage House


Dr Timothy Gitzen is an anthropologist, queer studies scholar, and activist. He received his PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Minnesota and before coming to Hong Kong he was a Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at Indiana University’s Institute for Korean Studies. His research examines the intersection of national security and sexuality in South Korea, interrogating the production and management of the “queer threat.” His book project—tentatively titled “Queering Peninsular Destruction: An Ethnography of National Security in South Korea”—concerns the banality of what he calls “peninsular destruction” in South Korea and how this creates violence in the state’s margins that gets erased under the banner of “national security.” He illustrates how this enables the state and citizens to mobilize security technologies, laws, and discourse to produce queer people as national security threats. This, he argues, is indicative of broader global security logics that require the transformation of people into mechanisms of data.

Research Interests

  • Sexuality
  • Security cultures
  • Queer theory
  • Anthropology
  • Surveillance technologies, viruses,  and science and technology studies
  • South Korea


PhD, University of Minnesota

Select Publications

  • 2021. “The Limits of Family: Military Law and Sex Panics in Contemporary South Korea,” positions: asia critique 29(3): 607-632. (in press)
  • 2021.“Narratives of the Homoerotic Soldier: The Fleshiness of the South Korean Military,” Cultural Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/09502386.2021.1919166
  • ​2018. “Sex/Gender Insecurities: Trans Bodies and the South Korean Military.” Co-Author, Horim Yi. TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly 5(3): 378-393. (Co-authors contributed equally).
  • 2014. “Bad Mothers and ‘Abominable Lovers’: Goodness and Gayness in Korea.” In Mothering in East Asian Communities: Politics and Practices. Duncan, Patti, G. Wong, eds. Bradford, Ontario: Demeter Press, 145-157.
  • 2013. “Affective Resistance: Objects of Korean Popular Music.” International Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies 9(1): 5-36.


GEND2010. Feminist science and technology studies