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Summary

Eugene Y. (Gene) Park is a historian of East Asia, particularly Korean politics and society since the 14th century. After studying at UCLA and Harvard, Park completed a postdoctoral fellowship with the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale and held faculty positions at the University of California at Irvine, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Nevada at Reno, where he is also an adjunct. director of the Ozmen Institute for Global Studies. Park has taught at Harvard, Korea, McGill, Seoul National, and Yonsei, and has given some 60 guest lectures, speeches, or presentations, including the 26th Annual Stanley Spector Memorial Lecture on the History and Civilization of East Asia at Washington University in St. Louis (2019). Author of five books, he is currently pursuing several new projects, including Families, status and global time. His working hypothesis is that in sedentary and literate societies of Afro-Eurasia where writing systems have historically facilitated political legitimation and identity formation, the beginnings of continuous and reliable patrilineal genealogies of the aristocracy, of the middle class and the rest of the population (from 1900), mark the beginnings of the post-classical, early modern and late modern eras respectively. Besides history, Park is interested in genealogy, population genetics, primatology, portraiture and religious studies. He was a consultant to Who do you think you are? (Wall to Wall Productions/George IV Productions), Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS) and Ancestry.com. In 2016, Park co-chaired the organizing committee for the Eighth Biennial World Congress of Korean Studies.

Research of interests

  • Korea and East Asia
  • sociopolitical history
  • deep story
  • Genealogy
  • Population genetics

Books

  • Korea: a story (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2022).
  • A Genealogy of Dissent: The Offspring of Fallen Royal Families in Chosŏn, Korea (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2018).
  • Chosŏn muin ŭi yŏksa, 1600–1894 nyŏn 조선무인의역사, 1600~1894 [A history of Chosŏn military men, 1600–1894] (Seoul: P’urŭn yŏksa, 2018), translated by Yu Hyŏnjae 유현재.
  • Peace in the East: An Chunggŭn’s Vision for Asia in the Age of Japanese Imperialism (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2017), edited with Yi Tae-Jin and Kirk W. Larsen.
  • A Family of No Importance: The Descendants of Pak Tŏkhwa and the Birth of Modern Korea (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014).
  • Between Dreams and Reality: The Military Examination at the End of Chosŏn Korea, 1600-1894 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007).

Courses taught

  • HIST 209: World History II
  • HIST 211: East Asian History I
  • HIST 306: Korean History
  • HIST 488C/688C: Nature and Culture Themes: Genes, Environment and World History
  • HIST 705: Higher Readings in History
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