Seungyop Shin

Advisor: Charles Kim

Seungyop Shin


My dissertation examines the multifaceted ways in which the concept of modern time was shaped, reproduced, and contested in late Chosŏn and colonial Korea. It explores how a set of standardized temporal units marked by the twenty-four-hour clock, seven-day week, and Gregorian solar calendar engaged with sociopolitical transformations in Korea when it radically changed from being one of China’s tributary states, to becoming a sovereign nation, and then a Japanese colony. I follow that shifting geopolitical landscape of Korea and highlight its connection with the new temporal order to shed light on the reconfiguration of late Chosŏn society based on modern time. I focus on interactions between modern temporality, state power, and social forces to show how particular discourses of time such as punctuality, regularity, and efficiency were produced and how they were integrated into the state apparatus to discipline the body politic. I highlight Korea as a historical intersection where national, colonial, and capitalist forces conflicted with different visions of time and examine how Koreans received and negotiated compromises with modern time at the turn of the twentieth century.


M.A., Columbia University
B.A., Sungkyunkwan University


  • East Asian History

MA Title

  • “Colonized by the Modern, Otherized within the Self: The 1883 Chosŏn Pobingsa’s Travel, Gaze, and Translation of Culture “

Working Dissertation Title

  • “Mediating the New World: Modern Time and Temporalities in Late Chosŏn and Colonial Korea “

Selected Publications

  • Temporalities of Tonghak: Eschatology, Rebellion, and Civilization,” The Journal of Korean Studies, vol. 25, no. 2 (2020) (Forthcoming)
  • “Resembling the Opponent: Korean Nationalist and Japanese Colonialist Historiography in Modern Korea,” Acta Koreana, vol. 21, no. 2 (2018): 525-552.
  • “Sigan ŭl ch’ai ro, ch’ai rŭl sigan ŭro: 19-segi mal 20-segi ch’o oegugin tŭl i insik han chosŏn ŭi sigan kwa munmyŏng ŭi wigye” [Complicity between time and civilization: foreign visitors’ views of time and the hierarchy of civilization in late Chosŏn Korea], Han’gukhak yŏn’gu [Korean Studies] 45 (2017): 433-473.
  • “Saeroun siganjŏk chilsŏ ro ŭi yŏhaeng: 19-segi mal chosŏn oegyo sajŏltan mit chisigin tŭl ŭi kŭndaejŏk sigan kyŏnghŏm e kwanhan yŏn’gu” [Invitation to a new temporal order: Korean diplomatic missions and intellectuals’ experiences of modern time], Han’gugŏ munhak kukche haksul p’orŏm [Journal of Korean Culture] 36 (2017): 159-204.
  • “Escaping or Internalizing Colonialism: The Chosŏn Pobingsa in Comparison with the Japanese Iwakura Mission,” Princeton Journal of East Asian Studies 2 (2012): 36-52.

Courses Taught as TA

  • East Asian 105 & 106 – First Year Korean (2013-14)
  • East Asian 345 & 346 – Second Year Korean (2014-16)

Courses Taught as Instructor

  • East Asian 345 & 346 – Second Year Korean (2018-2019)