Charles Kim

Position title: Director of Graduate Studies; Korea Foundation Professor of Korean Studies


Phone: 608.263.1831

Office: 4122 Mosse Humanities
Mailbox: 4007 Mosse Humanities
Office Hours: TBA

Charles Kim


I’m a cultural historian of modern Korea with interests in national identity formations, class and gender relations, food and food ways, cultural memory, and Cold War Korea/Cold War Asia. My first book, Youth for Nation: Culture and Protest in Cold War South Korea, explored South Korean public discourse on postcolonial nation building during the formative post-Korean War juncture of the 1950s and early 1960s. The study examined the country’s rocky transition from Japanese colonial rule to the consolidation of an anticommunist sociopolitical system that was geared toward making “late” developmental progress. Positioning South Korea as a key Asian member state of the US-centered “free world” bloc, Youth for Nation delved into how postwar media and statist texts prefigured the April 19th Students’ Revolution of 1960 and informed Park Chung Hee’s ideological program of the early 1960s. My current research on North Korea builds on this earlier work by inquiring into contemporaneous developmentalist processes in the DPRK, with a focus on national culture.


Ph.D., Columbia University
M.A., University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., Pomona College


Selected Publications

  • “South Korea’s Postdevelopmental Nationalism,” In Routledge Handbook of Nationalism in East Asia and Southeast Asia, Routledge, 2023.
  • “Paek Namun.” In Imperatives of Culture: Selected Essays on Korean History, Literature, and Society from the Japanese Colonial Era, edited by Christopher P. Hanscom, Walter K. Lew, and Youngju Ryu. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2013
  • “Moral Imperatives: South Korean Studenthood and April 19th.” The Journal of Asian Studies 71, no. 2 (May 2012): 399-422.

Advisor To

Selected Awards

  • Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, 2018
  • Karen F. Johnson Award for Undergraduate Teaching in History, 2017
  • Association for Asian Studies Northeast Asia Council Korean Studies Grant, 2015

History Courses

  • History 108 – Introduction to East Asian History ‐ Korea
  • History 200 – Historical Studies: East Asian Food Cultures: Past and Present
  • History 335 – The Koreas: Korean War to the 21st Century – Syllabus 2021 (pdf)
  • History 340 – Cultural History of Korea – Syllabus 2022 (pdf)
  • History 600 – Historical Memory
  • History 706 – Topics in Transnational History: Cold War Asia
  • History 725 – Seminar in East Asian History: Historiography of Modern Korea