Director, James Joo-Jin Kim Program in Korean Studies

Korea Foundation Associate Professor of History

  • Ph.D., East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, 1999
  • A.M., Regional Studies East Asia, Harvard University, 1993
  • B.A., History, University of California, Los Angeles, 1991

Born in South Korea and raised in southern California, I am an American historian of early modern and turn of the twentieth-century Korea. An author of 4 books, currently I am pursuing 3 new 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, 17241894 (Brill, under contract), which is an English translation of a Korean monograph; and (3) The Cambridge History of Korea, vol. 3, The Chosŏn Dynasty, 1392–1910 (Cambridge University Press, under contract), co-editing with George L. Kallander and Michael J. Pettid. Besides history, I have long-standing interest in genealogy, human haplogroup genetics, paleoanthropology, portraiture, and religious studies as well. I have taught at Harvard, Korea University, McGill, Penn, Seoul National University, UC Irvine, Yale, and Yonsei.

642 Williams Hall

CV (file)

Selected Publications

  • A Genealogy of Dissent: The Progeny of Fallen Royals in Chosŏn Korea. Stanford University Press, 2018. 
  • Peace in the East: An Chunggŭn’s Vision for Asia in the Age of Japanese Imperialism. Lexington Books, 2017. Edited with Yi Tae-Jin and Kirk W. Larsen.
  • A Family of No Prominence: The Descendants of Pak Tŏkhwa and the Birth of Modern Korea. Stanford University Press, 2014.
  • Between Dreams and Reality: The Military Examination in Late Chosŏn Korea, 1600–1894. Harvard University Asia Center, 2007.


Courses Taught

  • EALC 3 (Introduction to Korean Civilization) 
  • EALC 7 (East Asia: Past and Present)
  • EALC 183/583 (Social History of Early Modern Korea)
  • EALC 303 (Major Seminar: Korea and Empires, 1864–1945)
  • EALC 780 (Readings in Korean History)