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Yumi Moon

Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., Harvard University, History and East Asian Languages (2005)
Ph.D., Seoul National University, coursework in Political Science and International Relations (1997)
M.A., Seoul National University, Political Science and International Relations (1994)
B.A., Seoul National University, Political Science and International Relations (1990)

I joined the department in 2006 after I completed my dissertation on the last phase of Korean reformist movements and the Japanese colonization of Korea between 1896 and 1910. In my dissertation, I revisited the identity of the pro-Japanese collaborators, called the Ilchinhoe, and highlighted the tensions between their populist orientation and the state-centered approach of the Japanese colonizers. Examining the Ilchinhoe’s reformist orientation and their dissolution by the Japanese authority led me to question what it meant to be collaborators during the period and what their tragic history tells us about empire as a political entity. I am currently working on a book manuscript centered on the theme of collaboration and empire, notably in relation to the recent revisionist assessments of empire. My next research will extend to the colonial period of Korea after the annexation and will examine what constituted colonial modernity in people’s everyday lives and whether the particulars of modernity were different in colonial and non-colonial situations. To explore these questions, I plan to look at the history of movie theaters in East Asia between 1890 and 1945, a subject which will allow me to study the interactions between the colonial authority, capitalists and consumers, as well as to look at the circulation of movies as consumed texts.


Cultural History
Political Culture
The Pacific World

Current Research Projects

  • "Toward a Free State: Imperial Shift and the Formation of Post-Colonial South Korea, 1937-1950." Second book project.
  • “Colonial Media: Hollywood Movies and the Gender Discourse in Wartime Colonial Korea, 1931-1940.” Article manuscript.