Holly Stephens received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017. As a historian of Korea, her research interests range widely to include economic history, agriculture, empire, everyday life, village organizations, and the emergence of the modern state. Her dissertation—Agriculture and Development in an Age of Empire: Institutions, Associations, and Market Networks in Korea, 1876-1945—examines the Korean rural economy during a period of immense political upheaval. Using previously unexamined farmers’ diaries, the dissertation traces the formation and operation of new agricultural organizations that linked Korean farmers to regional and global markets, as new ideas about the state’s role in the economy and the adoption of scientific farming methods combined to transform agricultural production.
While at Yale, Holly will prepare her dissertation for publication. She will also teach a class in the spring on economic change and everyday life in modern Korea.
EAST 402, HIST 303J
Everyday Life in Modern Korea, 1800 to the Present
The history of modern Korea, from 1800 to the present. Tracing major events that reshaped Korean society, including reform and rebellion in the nineteenth century, empire and colonialism, war, industrialization, democratization, and the political tensions surrounding North and South Korea. Consideration of the everyday lives of Koreans who lived through “the headlines” and how we have come to understand Korean history in the present.