Director, James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies
Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., Harvard University, 1999
A.M., Harvard University, 1993
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1991
I research in sociopolitical history of early modern and turn of the twentieth-century Korea. Born in South Korea and raised in southern California, I also have a long-standing interest in such areas as genealogy, portraiture, and religion. I am an author of four books: (1) Between Dreams and Reality: The Military Examination in Late Chosŏn Korea, 1600–1894 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2007); (2) A Family of No Prominence: The Descendants of Pak Tŏkhwa and the Birth of Modern Korea (Stanford University Press, 2014); (3) Peace in the East: An Chunggŭn’s Vision for Asia in the Age of Japanese Imperialism (Lexington Books, 2017), co-edited with Yi Tae-Jin and Kirk W. Larsen; and (4) A Genealogy of Dissent: The Progeny of Fallen Royals in Chosŏn Korea (Stanford University Press, 2018, in press). Currently I am pursuing three book projects: (1) A Concise History of Korea (Cambridge University Press, under contract); (2) The Politics of Public Discourse in Late Joseon Korea: Local Councils and People's Assemblies, 1724–1894 (Brill, under contract), which is an English translation of a Korean-language research monograph; and (3) The Cambridge History of Korea, vol. 3, The Chosŏn Dynasty, 1392–1910 (Cambridge University Press, contract under negotiation), co-editing with George L. Kallander and Michael J. Pettid. Besides Penn, I have also taught at Harvard, Korea, McGill, Seoul National, UC Irvine, Yale, and Yonsei.