Russell Burge is a historian of modern Korea. His dissertation, “The Promised Republic: Developmental Society and the Making of Modern Seoul,” examined urbanization and social change in 1960s and 1970s South Korea. While at Yale he developed this project into a book manuscript, part of a larger intellectual project of de-centering the bureaucrats and industrialists who have anchored our histories of East Asian development and focusing on questions of urban subalternity, access to the city, and the contentious politics of development.
Burge’s other intellectual interests include the history of decolonization in East Asia, the Korean War, and the global proliferation of rock music.
Burge received a B.A. in Art History from UCLA in 2007, an M.A. in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard in 2013, and a Ph.D. in History from Stanford in 2019.
Paula R. Curtis is a historian of premodern Japan, specializing in the medieval period. Her research interests include commoner history, documentary forgery, and material culture. Her current work focuses on socioeconomic networks formed through the exchange of counterfeit documents among metal caster organizations, the imperial court, and provincial warlords. She is also interested in digital humanities and the use of digital tools to analyze premodern historical sources.
Dr. Curtis received her BA from Gettysburg College, her MA from Ohio State University, and her PhD from the University of Michigan. During her time at Yale, she taught a course on the history of text and textuality in pre-1600 Japan.
Jooyeon Hahm is a historian of modern East Asia, with a particular interest in gender and legal history. Jooyeon earned her Ph.D. in History from University of Pennsylvania in 2019. Her dissertation, “Family Matters: Concubines and Illegitimate Children in the Japanese Empire, 1868–1945,” traces the history of family law in the Japanese empire as a process whereby those on the margins challenged norms and altered the hegemonic discourse on family. Contrary to popular perceptions of Japanese family law as patriarchal, she identified a progressive turn that promoted intimacy-based family life in court cases involving concubines and illegitimate children in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.
During her time at Yale, she prepared her dissertation for publication. She also taught a class on the relationship between law and gender in the early twentieth-century Japanese empire in Fall 2019.
David Porter is a historian of China who focuses on questions of empire, state-making, and identity in the Qing and early Republican periods. He received his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University in 2018. He is currently working on a book manuscript dealing with the history of the Qing Eight Banners, the group of soldiers and bureaucrats that played a leading role both in the Qing conquests of China and Inner Asia and in the everyday administration of the Qing empire. This work argues that the banners are better understood not as an ethnic institution dedicated to maintaining Manchu solidarity, but as a “service elite” – a multiethnic caste of imperial servitors whose hereditary political, legal, and economic privilege was tied to the military and administrative service they provided to the Qing court. Treating the banners as a service elite, rather than a uniquely Manchu ethnic formation, will enable productive comparisons to analogous institutions elsewhere in early modern Eurasia.
In addition to this larger project, he has worked on the post-imperial Manchu racial imaginings of a Daur bannerman in early 20th century Xinjiang, on the development of translation schools in 18th and 19th century China (and the unexpected connections between education in Manchu and education in English in the late Qing), and on the entangled public and private lives of a high-ranking frontier official and his epistolary correspondents in early 19th century Tibet, Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Beijing.
At Yale, where he received his undergraduate degree in History in 2010 as a member of Saybrook College, he taught a seminar focused on the production and maintenance of identity categories (gender, status, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, etc) in the Qing empire, and the relationship between empire as a political system and the forms that identity took.