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.
Charles Chang earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2016, was elected as the 2016-2017 Postdoctoral Fellow in Chinese Studies at Stanford, and served as Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Center on Religion and Chinese Society at Purdue in 2017-2018. His research focuses on political communication in contemporary China.
With the rise of the internet, smartphones, and social media, social science is becoming increasingly computational and often involves the collection and analysis of massive data. One type of study he has undertaken is to see how Chinese internet users, who number more than 700 million, respond to an unprecedented political event, for example, the most recent announcements of corruption at the highest level of government. Chang pioneered a method of graphing such that he could follow citizen response to each official announcement of the political event at a micro-spatial granularity and, time wise, from day to day and even from moment to moment.
Another type of study required him to solve the problem of scarce or inaccessible data in China, an authoritarian state that holds information close to its chest. Starting with maps that offered little useful information, Chang pioneered techniques that enabled him to fill in the gaps and show urban land in considerable detail, including the location, size, and compactness of different communities, which in turn gave him the means to gain knowledge of the social status of the people within each, how they communicate and behave.
At Stanford, he taught a seminar on the methods of “computational social science” and “digital humanities” to graduate students in which he explored how its methods can be used to study China. As to his present and future projects, they include a book that introduces computational social science to a broader social science public, and, more specifically, the use of its methods to the understanding of religion in China, a project that takes him closer to the humanities.
Chang taught the seminar “Digital China: Using Computational Methods to Illuminate Society, Politics, Culture, and History” in Spring 2019.
Gabrielle Niu is an art historian of pre-modern China. Her research interests include the art, architecture, and archaeology of the tenth to fourteenth centuries, with a focus on cultures and exchanges at China’s mutable borders. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Her dissertation, “Beyond Silk: A Re-evaluation of Jin Painting (1115 – 1234)”, explores Jin painting on silk, paper, temple and tomb walls and argues for regional frameworks for approaching 12th -13th century north Chinese painting cultures.
During her time at Yale, she developed a new research project “Mapping Middle Period (10th – 14th c.) Chinese Tombs: Funerary Murals from the Liao, Northern Song, Jin, and Yuan Dynasties.” She also taught a class in spring 2019 on Chinese art and archaeology at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Michael Thornton is a historian of early-modern and modern Japan, with a particular interest in urban history. In his dissertation, “Settling Sapporo: City and State in the Global Nineteenth Century,” he analyzed the planning and construction of Sapporo across the nineteenth century. He argued that the city was built as a settler-colonial capital, playing an instrumental role in the Japanese colonization of Hokkaido. The city was in turn heavily shaped by its colonial position and functions. More broadly, Thornton is interested in the transformation of Japanese cities between the Tokugawa and Meiji periods, including the development of new forms of social and political organization and municipal administration, with an eye to lessons that the rest of the world might learn from one of the planet’s most urbanized societies.
Thornton grew up in Kobe and Tokyo before attending Yale, where he received a BA in History in 2010. After brief stints in Germany and back in Japan he entered the PhD program in History at Harvard, from which he graduated in May 2018.
In Spring 2019, he taught the course “The City in Modern East Asia.”
Young Sun Park was born and raised in South Korea. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Southern California in 2018. Dr. Park’s research focus is on the history of childhood and the institutionalization of children in need, including the symbolic meanings they carried in Korean society. By analyzing the way of institutionalizing particular children labeled as “undesirable,” such as orphans and vagrant children, her research reveals central features in the relationship between the institutionalized treatment of undesirable children, on the one hand, the family, the state, and external forces, on the other, in the shaping of modern Korea.
While at Yale, Dr. Park prepared her dissertation for publication. She also taught a class on cinematic dramatization of gender in the context of modern Korean history in Fall, 2018.
Abigail Coplin’s research is situated in political sociology, economic sociology, and science and technology studies. It examines the entanglement—and coproduction of—science, politics, and nationalism in contemporary China, and exposes mechanisms by which non-democratic states contend with experts and incorporate expertise into their governance schemes and legitimacy claims. Her various projects demonstrate that while the Chinese Communist Party-state (CCP) seeks to harness science and technology as a legitimizing ideology and economic driver, semi-incorporating them within the state also gives rise to new, often unintended, dynamics that the party-state must address.
Abigail’s book project, “Domesticating Biotechnological Innovation: Science, Market, and the State in Post-Socialist China,” demonstrates how these interactional dynamics and legitimacy struggles drive China’s distinctive trajectory of knowledge-economy development. Specifically, she analyzes China’s agrobiotechnology sector, an industry that is both deeply significant, economically and politically, to the Chinese party-state and highly contentious in Chinese society. Drawing on extensive mixed method qualitative fieldwork, Abigail shows how China’s efforts to “domesticate” GM-technology center on deploying nationalist ideologies to reframe social anxieties around the technology as a struggle between China and foreign interests. This nationalist frame functions as the crucial logic organizing relations among science, state, and market, and thus sets China on a path of knowledge-economy development divergent from advanced, liberal democracies. Moreover, this institution-building principle structures each tier of China’s agrobiotech project: the nationalist dynamics of the sector; the emergence of unique commercial/academic organizational forms; the career trajectories of actors in the industry; the type of technology developed; and even the contours of social criticism leveled against this technology.
In addition to working on her book project, Abigail also taught “State-Society Relations in Post-Socialist China” in spring 2018. In her minimal free time, Abigail is an avid sailor and aspiring molecular gastronomist.
Leland Rogers has degrees in Central Eurasian Studies and Anthropology, and specializes in ancient DNA and population genetics. His doctoral dissertation explored the matrilineal lineages of the populations of the central Mongol Steppe from the late Neolithic to the present, being particularly interested in uncovering genetic affinities of the central Mongol Steppe population through time to ancient and modern populations of Eurasia. Analysis was carried out through a multidisciplinary approach, including archaeology, history, linguistics, and cultural studies, to place biological population change within a cultural context. His research also assists in the establishment of a broader database of ancient DNA data for comparative purposes in future ancient population studies of Eurasian and “New World” populations.
During his time as a postdoctoral associate at the Council on East Asian Studies at the MacMillan Center, Leland worked on turning the data from his dissertation into articles to be published in major peer reviewed journals, and publishing several other articles in Mongolian Studies and archaeology. Also, he worked with the animal ancient DNA laboratory at Yale for subspecies identification for animal samples retrieved from archaeological sites in Mongolia and Museum specimen apes. In spring 2018, he taught the course “Biological, Archaeological, and Historical Perspectives of Early East Asia.”
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 prepared her dissertation for publication. She also taught a class in spring 2018 on economic change and everyday life in modern Korea.
Dominik Wallner has degrees Japanese Studies and Classical Indology. In his dissertation, The oral epic tradition of the Ainu: Heroic Epics (yukar) and God Songs (kamuy yukar), he describes two major genres of the oral literature of the Ainu in Japan, which share many characteristic features, e.g. a metric language, a particular “literary” style, special personal verb forms for the first person, or the usage of oral epic formulas and themes. Main factors of the discussion are the contents and topics of the stories presented by the two genre-specific formats, the main protagonists and distinguishing characteristics. Additionally, a focus lies on the spatial configurations established in the two genres. Dominik Wallner has studied a broad range of languages from Japanese and Ainu to Sanskrit, Ancient Tamil and different Native languages in North America. Beneath his interest in Japanese literature of the Edo and Meiji periods and in Ainu language and literature, he is also interested in Indigenous languages and literature in general and the preservation and revitalization of endangered languages.
In Fall 2017, he taught the seminar “The History and Literature of the Ainu.”
Marc Opper’s research focuses on the etiology, conduct, and outcome of internal conflicts with a focus on the micro-level interactions between civilians and armed groups. He specializes in the politics and society of China and of the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, as well as the politics and history of the Vietnam War. His current book project, Fighting the People, Fighting for the People: Insurgent Governance and Conflict Outcomes in China, Malaya, and Vietnam makes extensive use of primary sources to examine the relationship between the institutions established by armed insurgent groups and the outcomes of internal conflicts. His research seeks combine social science with history and area studies to produce work that appreciates and embraces local contexts while producing generally-applicable theoretical insights into social and political phenomena. In addition to his book project, he is also working on separate projects that analyze resource extraction by the Chinese Communist Party in the 1930’s and 1940’s, the formal legal systems of insurgent organizations, and the role of local elections in civil wars. While at Yale, in addition to conducting research, he taught an undergraduate seminar, “Contemporary State-Building in Asia.”
Klaus Yamamoto-Hammering’s writing so far has focused on the violence of state recognition in contemporary Japan, and specifically, on the intersection of this violence with certain social differences which statist discourse would eliminate. As an anthropologist, Yamamoto-Hammering’s writing has taken the form of an ethnographic engagement with: school teachers who refuse to pay homage to imperial symbols of the state; construction workers in the vanishing day laborer district of Tokyo; a handful of “radical” leftists and their cry for revolution; the “internet right-wing” and its hate speech; and “Fukushima.” He is invested in embedding critical theory in his writing, and in the capacity of ethnography to prompt the imagination of social differences where the order of state recognition would foreclose hospitality. During the fall term he taught “Recognition, Shame, and the State in Contemporary Japan.”
Soo Ryon Yoon (Ph.D. in Performance Studies, Northwestern University) works on transnational circulation of modern and contemporary performance, political economy, and embodied practices at the intersection of race and gender in East Asia. Her dissertation Dancing Africa, (Un)Doing Koreanness: Circulation of African Culture in Contemporary South Korea is a part ethnographic, part archival investigation into the relationship between political economy, racial politics, and three modalities of “African dance” performances – concert dance, dance at a museum, and folk dance in a dance class – in contemporary South Korea. This book-length project shows how Korean spectators, performance makers, curators, and public administrators practicing the dances and viewing the racially marked dancing bodies experience fluctuations in their own ideas and practices of Koreanness vis-à-vis the imagined qualities of Africanness. Ultimately, this project calls our attention to the role of performance as the very site in which racial and national consciousness is developed or troubled. Soo Ryon’s doctoral research has been supported by the Fulbright Program and the Buffett Institute Dissertation Research Award. While at Yale, she developed “Dancing Africa, (Un)Doing Koreanness” into a book manuscript and taught an undergraduate seminar, “Race, Gender, and Performance in East Asia.” In addition to her academic work, Soo Ryon works as a freelance translator. She recently completed co-translation of a forthcoming book on yeoseong gukgeuk (Seoul: Forum A).
Cindi Textor received her Ph.D from University of Washington in 2016. Her dissertation, “Radical Language, Radical Identity: Korean Writers in Japanese Spaces and the Burden to ‘Represent’,” examines articulations of identity and difference in literary texts situated in contact zones between modern Japanese and Korean literature. Placing such texts in conversation with theories of identity from critical race, queer, and disability studies, the project asks how their writers manipulate the language available to them in order to articulate intersectional Korean identities. Cindi is also the translator of Kim Sŏkpŏm’s The Curious Tale of Mandogi’s Ghost. At Yale, she revised her dissertation for publication and began a second project on Japanese-Korean solidarities in transnational protest movements. She also taught a seminar titled “Popular Culture in Motion: Japanese Empire to Korean Wave.”
Kjell Ericson is a historian of Japan with interests in science, law, and oceans. Kjell received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. His current research project examines the intertwined twentieth century histories of marine pearl cultivation in the Japanese empire and machine-mediated methods for telling “natural” pearls apart from “cultured” or “cultivated” ones in post-WWI Europe. Amid dramatic transformations in Japan’s patent and fisheries laws, marine entrepreneurs began to raise and surgically manipulate living shellfish in order to produce pearls on a massive scale. Pearl and precious stone wholesalers in England and France sought to create distinctions between their own pearls and new ones from Japan that looked virtually identical on the surface. Making use of archival materials on four continents, this project reconstructs the global activities of Mikimoto Kōkichi, a man whose pearl business was at the center of multiple contests over the meaning of cultivation on land and sea. During his time at Yale, Kjell revised his dissertation for publication and taught an undergraduate seminar called “Japan and the Ocean, 1600-Present.” Starting in the Fall of 2016, he will be teaching at Connecticut College in New London.
Rebecca Shuang Fu focuses on Chinese literature and textual culture in the 1st millennium, particularly Turfan and Dunhuang manuscripts (200–1000). At the same time, she also has a broad range of interests in social history, art history, popular religion and culture, current archaeology, history of writing, and women’s and gender studies. Her current book project, Women’s Literacy Practices in Late Medieval China, traces women’s engagement and involvement in text-based activities back to the second half of the 1st millennium, a period during which the written word played an ever-increasing role in people’s day-to-day lives. Drawing on certain types of primary materials underutilized in the field of medieval Chinese literature, such as Turfan and Dunhuang manuscripts, this book’s interdisciplinary approach brings into focus the generally overlooked category of non-elite women. Rebecca received her Ph.D. from University of Pennsylvania in 2015. While at Yale, she revised her dissertation into a book manuscript, frequented the libraries, deciphered manuscripts, and taught an undergraduate seminar, “Writing and Textual Culture in China and Beyond.”
Woo Chang Kang received his Ph.D from New York University in 2015. His research focuses on political economy and political behavior in East Asia. His dissertation, Who Gets What, When: Electoral Cycles in Pork Barrel Politics, develops a dynamic theory of distributive politics where incumbents target marginal voters before an election but cater to core supporters after an election. He tests this theory in three developed democracies: South Korea, Japan and the United States. Beyond his dissertation work, his scholarly interests range widely from exploring the long-term effects of historical events such as the Korean War to understanding public attitudes and voting behaviors in contemporary politics. While at Yale, he will team-taught an undergraduate seminar with Professor Frances Rosenbluth, “The Politics and Political Economy of East Asia.” Starting in Fall 2016, he will be a lecturer at Australia National University’s School of Politics & International Relations.
Dima Mironenko is a film and cultural historian of North Korea. His research focuses on the history of everyday. His dissertation, “A Jester with Chameleon Faces: Laughter and Comedy in North Korea, 1954-1969,” looks at how laughter functioned in North Korean culture, examining its effects on society and cultural policy during the postwar decade. Dima received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2014. Before coming to Yale, he spent a year as a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University. While at Yale, Dima worked on his book manuscript and taught an undergraduate seminar, “North Korea through Film.” For the next academic year he will hold the Louis Frieberg Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center of East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Kazumi Hasegawa received her Ph.D. in the Graduate Institute of the Liberal Arts (ILA) at Emory University in 2013. Her dissertation, entitled “Examining the Life of Oyabe Zen’ichirō: The New Formation of Modern Japanese Identity at the Turn of the Twentieth Century,” reconstructs the life history of Oyabe Zen’ichirō (1867-1941) and examines the formation of his Japanese identity within international racial discourse of the time. The dissertation also analyzes how Oyabe encountered the crucial intellectual discourses of “civilization” at the turn of the twentieth century. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, she made extensive revisions to her dissertation in preparation for publication. In the Spring of 2015, she taught her course entitled, “Civilization in Meiji Japan.” Starting in the Fall of 2015, she will be teaching at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Seunghan Paek received his Ph.D. in Art History from the Ohio State University in 2014. His current research focuses on the phenomenon of commercial signage in Korean urbanism, and the aesthetic, ethical, and political questions it raises. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, he worked on developing his dissertation, “Urbanism, Signs, and the Everyday in Contemporary South Korean Cities,” into a book manuscript. He also continued to research contemporary architecture and urbanism in East Asia, with a project entitled, “The New Public Space: Spectacle, Media, and Urban Identity in East Asia.” In the Fall of 2014, he taught an undergraduate seminar titled “South Korean Urbanism.”
Jonathan Schlesigner is a historian of China and the natural environment. His research focuses on the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when a rush for natural resources transformed China and its frontiers. His current book project, The Qing Invention of Nature, reveals how Qing subjects, amidst this ecological upheaval, reimagined nature itself. Drawing on extensive archival research in Ulaanbaatar, Beijing, and Taipei, the book’s multilingual approach reenvisions the construction of frontier and metropole, nature and material culture, and artifice and purity in the Qing empire. Jonathan received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2012 and is an Assistant Professor of History at Indiana University – Bloomington. While at Yale, he completed his book manuscript, and taught an undergraduate seminar, “China’s Environmental History since 1600.”
Bin Xu received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2011. His dissertation, “The Elusive Harmony: Moral Legitimation and State-Society Relations in the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake in China,” examines how the Chinese state interacted with civil society in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake. The state-society interactions revolved around some moral issues pertaining to life and death and involved leaders’ compassionate performance, civil society’s participation in relief work, and the mourning ritual for the victims. During his term as a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale, he worked on a new project on collective memories of China’s “educated youth” (zhiqing) generation. He also taught a course on “Collective Memories in East Asia.”
Nathan Hopson received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012. His research focuses on the dynamics of postwar regionalism and sub-state nationalism in northeastern Japan, where he lived for eight years. He is currently working on a book project based on his dissertation, Tōhoku as Postwar Thought: Regionalism, Nationalism, and Culturalism in Japan’s Northeast. He taught “Japanese Nationalism in Global Context” in the Fall of 2013.
Hyung-Wook Kim received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012, specializing in pre-modern Korean history. His current research interests are on collective memory and nationalism in East Asia. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, Hyung-Wook worked on developing his dissertation, An Ancient and Glorious Past: Koguryŏ in the Collective Memories of the Korean People into a book manuscript and continued his research on the intellectual trends of eighteenth century East Asia. In the Spring of 2014, he taught a seminar on “History and Nationalism in East Asia.”
Kwangmin Kim specializes in early modern China and East Asia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2008, and currently teaches Chinese and global history at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research focuses on the history of empire, borderlands, and transnational relations. His recent publications include “Profit and Protection: Emin Khwaja and the Qing Conquest of Central Asia, 1759–1777,” The Journal of Asian Studies 71, no. 03 (2012): 603-626, and “Korean Migration in Nineteenth-Century Manchuria: A Global Theme in Modern Asian History,” in Mobile Subjects: Boundaries and Identities in Modern Korean Diaspora, ed. Wen-hsin Yeh (Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, 2013), 17-37. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale, he taught “Frontiers and Environments in Asia” in the Fall of 2013. He is currently preparing for the publication of his first book titled Borderland Capitalism: Muslim Notables and the Qing Empire in Chinese Central Asia, 1759-1864.
Mia Liu studies Chinese cinema and modern art and received her Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago. Her dissertation, The Literati Lenses: Wenren Landscape in Chinese Cinema, exposes how visual themes and motifs that have been established in literati landscape art are re-appropriated and re-invented in Chinese cinema between the 1950s and 1970s. It examines notions of place, monuments, sites, and the tension between word and image in a filmic text and the interstitial space between memory and history. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, she prepared her dissertation for publication and continued her research in Chinese photography, both popular and Salon, from the early twentieth century, as well as in the visual interactions between the photography circles and the cinema. In the Fall of 2013, she taught a course titled “Picturing Home and Country in Chinese Cinema.”
Ran Zwigenberg, a native of Israel, went to work for the United Nations after graduating with a degree in history from Hunter College. He recently finished his Ph.D. in history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His research focuses on modern Japanese and European history, with a specialization in memory and intellectual history. His dissertation, The Bright Flash of Peace: Hiroshima in the World: 1945-1995, deals comparatively with the commemoration and the reaction to the Holocaust in Israel and Europe and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in Japan. His thesis is further expanded upon in his recently published book, Hiroshima: The Origins of Global Memory Culture (September, 2014). In addition, he has published on issues of war memory, atomic energy, and survivor politics. He has won numerous fellowships including the Japan Foundation Fellowship, Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship, and ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship. Zwigenberg has presented his work in Israel, Europe, the United States and Japan. He taught “The Atomic Bombings of Japan in World Culture” in the Fall of 2013.
Martin Bale is an anthropological archaeologist engaged in research on Northeast Asia. The majority of his research has been on the pre-history and proto-history of the Korean Peninsula in the period 3500 BC-300 AD. Bale received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, and his dissertation is about patterns of storage and social change in Mumun Period Korea (c. 1500-300 BC). Bale is interested in how and why the very earliest socio-politically complex groups formed and developed, particularly from the perspective of agriculture, settlements, and political economy. He was at the Early Korea Project in the Korea Institute, Harvard University as an Associate in Research and Early Korea Project Fellow from 2009 to 2011 and as the Korea Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow from 2011 to 2012. Bale pursues an active program of fieldwork in Korea at sites in the Nam and Taehwa River basins. He taught “Approaches to Korean Archaeology” in the fall of 2012.
Akira Shimizu studies early modern Japanese history. His dissertation, “Eating Edo, Sensing Japan: Brand Foods and Market Culture in Late Tokugawa Japan, 1780-1868,” investigates the role played by specialty foods which, due to their symbolic meaning and place of production, added extra value to become much more than the object of consumption. Identifying the market as the arena in which merchants competed for the handling of specialty foods on a daily basis, his dissertation seeks a new approach to the end of early modern social order by focusing on the everyday life of commoners. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale University, Shimizu reworked his dissertation into a book manuscript and implemented a second project examining the commoners’ role in presenting “Japan” to the world in the middle of the nineteenth century. In spring 2013, he taught a course on food histories in East Asia.
Naoki Yamamoto specializes in film, literature, and the visual arts of Japan and East Asia. His research interests include world cinema, avant-garde art movements, cultural exchanges between the West and the non-West, the history of film and literary theories, gender and postcolonial studies, and the enduring relevance of a cinematic metaphor in today’s mediascape. His dissertation, “Realities That Matter: The Development of Realist Film Theory and Practice, 1895-1945” (Yale, 2012) offers the first comprehensive study of both aesthetic and philosophical responses of Japanese intellectuals to cinema’s ability to alter the very notion of the real in the age of mechanical reproduction. Through a critical reconfiguration of Japan’s long but largely neglected participation in the global circulation of film and its major theories, it proposes an alternative narrative that no longer presents Japanese cinema as an ideal “Other” of Western classical filmmaking. During his term as a CEAS Postdoctoral Associate, Yamamoto will develop his dissertation into a book manuscript, as well as continue his research into film’s particular role in shaping the experience of modernity in non-Western contexts. With this in mind, he taught a seminar entitled “Tracking Contemporary Asian Cinema” in the 2013 Spring semester.
William Fleming specializes in the literature and cultural history of early modern Japan. His dissertation, titled “The World Beyond the Walls: Morishima Chūryō (1756-1810) and the Development of Late Edo Fiction” (Harvard, 2011), explores the rich interrelationship between early modern Japanese fiction and contemporary intellectual movements, including nativist studies and inquiry into Dutch, vernacular Chinese, and Russian materials. The dissertation challenges the view of Edo fiction as largely isolated from outside influence and offers a new way of thinking about the transformation of gesaku, the period’s so-called “playful literature,” from a pastime of the intellectual elite into a form of true popular fiction. As a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale, William reformulated his dissertation into a book and completed research projects on the representation of disease and the body in premodern Japanese literature and on the reception of Chinese fiction in the late Edo period, with a particular focus on the case of Pu Songling’s celebrated collection of “strange” tales, Liaozhai zhiyi. He taught an undergraduate seminar titled “Pop Culture in Early Modern Japan” in the 2012 spring semester.
Fumiko Joo specializes in Chinese and East Asian comparative literature. Her research field is Ming-Qing fiction and its expansion in early modern Japan with particular interests in fantastic stories and gender. Her dissertation “The Peony Lantern and Fantastic Tales in Late Imperial China and Tokugawa Japan: Local History, Religion, and Gender” (University of Chicago, 2011) examines the transnational and micro-regional circulation and interpretation of Qu You’s (1347-1433) Jiandeng xinhua in China and Japan. During her time at Yale, she developed her dissertation into a book manuscript and began a new project on serpent women within popular culture of early modern East Asia. She also taught a course entitled “Fantastic Tales in China and Japan, 14th-19th Centuries.”
Jin Woong Kang is a sociologist of North Korea. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Yonsei University, South Korea and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He studies and teaches the areas of North Korean state formation and the political sociology of divided Korea. His dissertation “Understanding the Dynamics of State Power in North Korea: Militant Nationalism and People’s Everyday Lives” explores how North Korea’s anti-American state power has been reproduced in people’s everyday practices. He conducted research on both North Korean refugees’ lives in South Korea and the experiences of Korean immigrants in the United States, particularly with respect to domestic violence and encounters with the American criminal system. At Yale, he taught the seminar “Understanding North Korea.”
Yuhang Li is an art historian of late imperial China. Her primary research interest is gender and material practice in relation to Buddhism in Ming and Qing China. Her dissertation (University of Chicago, 2011) “Gendered Materialization: An Investigation of Women’s Artistic and Literary Reproductions of Guanyin in Late Imperial China” examines how lay Buddhist women participated in the cult of the most prevalent Chinese female deity, Guanyin, by reproducing images of her through painting, embroidery, and even using their own body to dress up as Guanyin and being captured in painting and photographs to reach religious salvation. Her broader research projects and research interests concern gender and Chinese art history, which cover women as a subject of representation and women as producers and patrons of the arts, as well as woman’s life cycle and its relation to material practice. During her residence at Yale, she expanded her dissertation into a book manuscript and taught a course entitled “Gender in East Asian Art History.”
Francesca Di Marco is a cultural historian of modern Japan. She received her Ph.D. at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London in the summer of 2009. Her dissertation, entitled The Discourse on Suicide in Postwar Japan, explores the process of the formation of the image of suicide between 1946 and 2008 in non-fictional media. It focuses particularly on the evolution of the media discourse in representing and narrating the act of suicide and its motivations, unveiling the conditions under which the historical appearance of suicide is formed, reinterpreted and reinvented. During her time at Yale, Dr. Di Marco developed her project into a book manuscript, which included two additional chapters on the discourse on suicide in prewar Japan. She also taught a course in the spring 2011 semester entitled “The Asia-Pacific Wars: Histories, Crimes, Memories.”
Youn-mi Kim is an art historian of cross-cultural Buddhist art of East Asia. Her primary research interest is the ritual aspect of Buddhist architecture and its relation to the religious worldview and politics of medieval East Asia. Her dissertation (Harvard 2010), Eternal Ritual in an Infinite Cosmos: The Chaoyang North Pagoda (1043-1044), explores inner and outer spaces of the Liao pagoda, revealing that the pagoda was designed to be an epitome of the Buddhist cosmos described in the literatures of the Huayan School and its relic crypt simulated an esoteric ritual altar. Her comparative study of the altar configuration from the Liao pagoda and Japanese medieval documents reveals hitherto less known Liao bearings on the Shingon School ritual practice in late Heian Japan, which brings her research into a transnational dialogue. Her broader research projects and research interests cover the meaning and function of East Asian twin pagodas and incantation prints enshrined in Buddhist sculptures. During her residence at Yale, she expanded her dissertation into a book manuscript and taught a course titled “Religion, Politics and Visions of Afterlife in Northeast Asia through Liao Art of the 10th-12th Centuries.”
Alyssa Park is a historian of modern Korea. She received her B.A. from Princeton and Ph.D. from Columbia University. Her research and teaching interests include transnational migration, border regions, and national belonging. Her dissertation, Borderland Beyond: Korean Migrants and the Creation of a Modern Boundary between Korea and Russia, 1860-1937, incorporates archival materials from Russia and Korea. It explores the building of a state border between the two countries through geopolitical contests, technologies of state surveillance, and the circulation of global ideas about mobility and citizenship. She has recently revised her dissertation to include Manchuria. At Yale, she taught the seminar “Mapping ‘Korea’ in East Asia: Ideas, Politics, and Society.”
Heekyoung Cho is a student of modern Korean literature and culture. Her dissertation explores Korean intellectuals’ literary appropriation of Russian prose via Japanese mediation in the early twentieth century. It shows that colonized Korean intellectuals translated and adapted with all the ingenuity of authors, to build a form of modern literature that would respond to their society’s historical situation. Her areas of interest include translation and the formation of national literature, modern Korean literature and its historiography, and Korean-Japanese-Russian cultural relations. During her residence at Yale, she expanded her dissertation into a book manuscript, and taught the course “Translation and Modern Literature in East Asia.”
Justin Jesty is a cultural historian of postwar Japan. He focuses on the period from 1945 to around 1960, investigating how practices of small group cultural production intersected with progressive social movements. His dissertation “Arts of Engagement,” studies recognized artists as well as amateur producers to show how creativity and expression were, both practically and theoretically, integral elements in building democratic subjectivity. The case studies comprising the dissertation are reportage art, the modernist education movement Creative Aesthetic Education (sōzō biiku), and the regional avant-garde group Kyushu-ha. During his time at Yale, Justin developed his project into a book manuscript which included an additional chapter on workplace art circles. He also taught a course on “Documentary, History, and Social Movements in Postwar Japan.”
Toby Lincoln is a historian of modern China. He received his Ph.D. from Oxford University in the Spring of 2009. Entitled, Urbanizing Wuxi: Everyday Life of Everyday People in Early 20th Century China, it explored how the development of cities, towns and villages in the lower Yangzi delta brought the experiences of industrial modernity to farmers and workers. At Yale, he concentrated on expanding the scope of his dissertation by exploring the impact of the Second Sino-Japanese War on Wuxi. By explaining how urban development was not just a linear process, his research provided a more nuanced picture of the expansion of industrial modernity into China. Additionally, Toby worked on two articles for publication, one of which “Fleeing from Firestorms: the Role of Native Place Societies in the Evacuation of Shanghai in 1937,” was published in the Special Issue of Urban History in 2011. He taught a course in the spring semester, entitled “Urbanization in China, 1850 – 2010.” This course explored the various meanings that the city has acquired in China in the modern period, and described how places like Beijing and Shanghai have become part of a global network of urban spaces, and integrated China into the 21st century world.
Elif Akcetin is a historian of late imperial China. She received her Ph.D. in the summer of 2007 from the Department of History at the University of Washington. Her interests include the history of the frontier, corruption and material culture in the Qing dynasty, and comparative history of empires. She prepared her dissertation for publication, Corruption at the Frontier: The Gansu Fraud Scandal, and is worked on two articles, “The Frontier World in Wang Jingqi’s Dushutang xizheng suibi” and “The Qing and Ottoman Empires: The Search for an Early Modern.” She presented papers at the annual conferences organized by the Middle Eastern Studies Association and the Association for Asian Studies. She taught courses on Chinese civilization at the University of Washington and Bogazici University. In the spring of 2009, she taught a course at Yale entitled “History and Memory in East Asia.”
Ellie Choi is an intellectual historian of modern Korea during the Japanese empire. Her dissertation (Ph.D., Harvard, 2008), “Space and the Historical Imagination: Yi Kwangsu’s Vision of Choson during the Japanese Empire,” explored the intersection of space, travel, and nationalist discourse as they relate to issues of multiple temporalities and nationalist historical production. She is particularly interested in complicating “Korean uniqueness” within a larger multi-ethnic Japanese empire after 1939, and its transference to the colonial fascism debate. Her research and teaching interests include history writing, cultural nationalism, contested spatialities, collaboration, invented traditions, travel, and urban culture. At Yale, she taught a fall course, “History and Tradition in Modern Korea,” and worked towards a book manuscript on spatial practices, exilic nationalism, and post-WWI liberalist discourse during the period of the Korean Provisional Government’s residence in the Shanghai French Quarter.
George Clonos (Georgios Klonos) received his undergraduate degree in Japanese from Stanford University and a master’s degree in Oriental Religions from the School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom. His Ph.D. dissertation (Stanford) was on Mount Omine and the Shugendo tradition of mountain asceticism in the Tokugawa period. A chapter related to this topic appeared in the book Japanese Religious Landscape (edited by Matsuoka Hideaki; Berghahn Press). Apart from Shugendo, his research interests include sacred landscapes, ascetic practice, Esoteric Buddhism, and Edo-period religion. While at Yale, he revised his dissertation for publication and worked on journal articles related to Edo-period religion. He taught a course entitled “Sacred Space in Japanese Religions” in the spring of 2009.
Helen (Huiwen) Zhang is a scholar of comparative literature, cultural hermeneutics, and the aesthetics of translation. She graduated from the first experimental Humanities Program in the Department of Philosophy at Peking University before continuing to pursue a Master of Arts in Modern Chinese Literature. From 2002 to 2008, she received three research grants from Germany, studied in Sinology and German Literature and Thought, and took part in various interdisciplinary programs such as “Exchanges of Knowledge between China and the West” and “Cultural Hermeneutics: Reflections of Difference and Trans-difference.” Her dissertation in German, “Kulturtransfer über Epochen und Kontinente: Feng Zhis Roman ‘Wu Zixu’ als Begegnung von Antike und Moderne, China und Europa,” (“Cultural Transfer across Epochs and Continents: Feng Zhi’s Novel ‘Wu Zixu’ as an Encounter between Ancient and Modern Times, China and Europe,”) examined one of the most distinctive phenomena in the history of modern Chinese literature: the ambivalence of 1940s intellectuals towards Chinese and European ‘traditions’ as well as the subtle process of mutual ‘molding’ of Eastern and Western thoughts and styles in cultural transfer. While at Yale, she will revise her dissertation for publication and work on another research project, “A Cycle of Supermen (Übermenschen): Linking Goethe, Nietzsche, Richard Wilhelm, Daoist Thinkers and Modern Chinese Intellectuals,” which intends to illuminate the ‘eternal return’ of the concept ‘Übermensch’ in intra- / trans-cultural dialogues and to emphasize the importance of such topics. In spring 2009, she taught a course on “Cross-Cultural Eccentricities: How Modern Chinese and European Intellectuals Read Each Others’ Works.”
Aglaia De Angeli received her undergraduate degree in Chinese language and literature in 2000 from the University of Venice in Italy. With a very motivated interest in Chinese Republican history, she completed her Ph.D. on “Women and Crime in Shanghai, 1912-1949” at the University of Lyon in France in 2007. Her areas of specialty are Republican law history and she conducted research projects on “Virtual Shanghai” and “Chinese Torture.” In the spring 2008, she taught an undergraduate course on “Republican China: An Overview of A Transition Period, 1912-1949.”
Charles Kim (Ph.D., Columbia University) is a historian of twentieth-century Korean culture and society. In his dissertation, he explores the cultural origins of South Korea’s April Revolution (1960). His research and teaching interests include nationalist discourse, cross-cultural perceptions, social relations, and historical methodology. While at Yale, he expanded his dissertation and taught a course in the spring semester titled “Across Empires and Borders: A Cultural History of Modern Korea and Japan.”
Jinhee Choi earned two Ph.D.s from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one in Philosophy and the other in Film Studies. Her areas of specialty are film aesthetics and East Asian cinema. Her primary research focuses on how local filmmakers adopt and transform generic and stylistic norms in order to appeal to popular imagination. She examines the extent to which genres such as gangster cinema, swordplay films, romantic comedies, and blockbusters have registered the political, social, and cultural changes within the East Asian region. She is the co-editor of Philosophy of Film and Motion Pictures (2005, Blackwell) with Noël Carroll and her articles on the philosophy and aesthetics of film have appeared in the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, the British Journal of Aesthetics, Postscript, Asian Cinema, Film Studies: An International Review, and Film-Philosophy. She completed a book manuscript on contemporary Korean cinema.
Nicole Cohen is a historian of modern Japan and Korea. She graduated as an East Asian Studies and History double-major from Dartmouth College before pursuing a Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures and a Doctorate in History at Columbia University. Her dissertation, “Children of Empire: Growing up Japanese in Colonial Seoul, 1880-1946,” examined the relationship between the Japanese homeland and its colonies, as well as the violent remapping of boundaries, identity, and notions of national belonging in the colonial and postcolonial worlds. Her research and teaching interests include social history, colonialism and imperialism, gender, space, and everyday life. In the fall of 2006, she taught an undergraduate course on the intertwining histories of Japan and Korea from early times to the present.
Gareth Fisher (Ph.D., University of Virginia) is an anthropologist specializing in the revival of lay Buddhism in mainland China. His dissertation, “Universal Rescue: Re-making post-Mao China in a Beijing Temple” explores how Buddhist practitioners in Beijing used temple space to form new moral discourses in response to the rapid cultural change accompanying urban China’s continuing process of globalization. While at Yale, he revised his dissertation for publication and worked on several articles that moved beyond Beijing to explore the formation of a nationwide community of lay Buddhists in China. In spring 2007, he taught a course on “Religion and Globalization in East Asia.”
Christopher Gerteis (Ph.D., University of Iowa) is a historian of modern and contemporary Japan with subspecialties in the histories of modern China, East Asia, and the modern World. Dr. Gerteis is recipient of several research grants from the Social Science Research Council, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. While at CEAS, he revised for publication his book, entitled “ ‘We Should Build Family Unions’: Gender, Nation, and the Radical Unions of Postwar Japan,” which examines how the social status of wage-earning Japanese women was eroded in part by national union leaders who refused to let go of their belief that women should play a subordinate role in Japan’s postwar democracy.
Yifan Zhang came to the United States after earning a B.A. (1994) and a M.A. in economics (1997) at Renmin University in China. He completed his Ph.D. in the summer of 2005 at the Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh, writing a dissertation titled “Essays on Vertical Specialization, Competition and Industry Dynamics in China’s Manufacturing Sector.” While at Yale University, Zhang conducted research for his project “Compensating the Losers: The Political Economy of Trade Liberalization in Post-WTO China.” In spring 2006, he taught a course titled “Economic Growth in East Asia.”
2004 - 2005 Postdoctoral Associates
2003 - 2004 Postdoctoral Associates
Susie Jie Young Kim
J. Dale Wilson
2002 - 2003 Postdoctoral Associates
2001 - 2002 Postdoctoral Associates
2000 - 2001 Postdoctoral Associates
1999 - 2000 Postdoctoral Associates