Seungyop Shin

Advisor: Charles Kim

Seungyop Shin


I am a historian of modern Korean history, with a particular interest in the politics of time, religion, and social relations in global contexts. My dissertation examines the multifaceted ways in which the concept of modern time was shaped, disseminated, 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/religious 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 Social Change 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)
  • “Text beyond Context: Power, Discourse, and the Chŏng Kam nok in Colonial Korea,” Journal of Korean Religions, vol. 10, no. 1 (2020) (Forthcoming)
  • “Resembling the Opponent: Korean Nationalist and Japanese Colonialist Historiography in Modern Korea,” Acta Koreana, vol. 21, no. 2 (2018): 525-552.
  • “Invitation to a New Temporal Order: Korean Diplomatic Missions and Intellectuals’ Experiences of Modern Time,” Journal of Korean Culture 36 (2017): 159–204 (Written in Korean).
  • “Complicity between Time and Civilization: Foreign Visitors’ Views of Time and the Hierarchy of Civilization in Late Chosŏn Korea,” Korean Studies 45 (2017): 433–473 (Written in Korean).

Professional Affiliations

  • 2016–17, Junior Research Fellow, Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies, Seoul National University
  • 2010, Junior Visiting Fellow, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo

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-present)
  • East Asian 345 & 346 – Second Year Korean (Summer, 2019)