Eugene Y. Park, Ph.D.

Gene Park


I am a historian of East Asia, especially Korean politics and society from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century. After studying at UCLA and Harvard, I completed a postdoc with the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale and have held faculty appointments at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Nevada, Reno. I have taught at Harvard, Korea, McGill, Seoul National, and Yonsei, as well as giving some 70 invited lectures, speeches, or presentations, including the 26th Annual Stanley Spector Memorial Lecture on East Asian History and Civilization at Washington University in St. Louis (2019). Various high-profile projects have consulted with me, including Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS) and Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem). In 2016, I co-chaired the organizing committee of the Eighth Biennial World Congress of Korean Studies.

Research interests

My research considers political power and social status, especially as understood through government service examinations, court ranks and offices, marriage practices in relation to partisan loyalty, the divergence between ascriptive status and socioeconomic class, the origins of the modern professional class, and the evolution of family history narratives. Author of five books, I am currently editing a volume, Routledge Handbook of Early Modern Korea (Routledge; accepted for publication), and translating a Korean-language research monography by Kim Ingeol, Politics of Public Opinion: Local Councils and People’s Assemblies in Korea, 1567–1897 (Brill; accepted for publication). While my research using primary sources focuses on Korea, I maintain a broad, comparative perspective and reflect on periodizing global history. In this context, I enjoy readings and conversations in evolutionary biology, deep history, population genetics, religious studies, art history, and historical musicology.


  • Korea: A History. Stanford University Press, 2022.
  • A Genealogy of Dissent: The Progeny of Fallen Royals in Chosŏn Korea. Stanford University Press, 2018.
  • Peace in the East: An Chunggŭn’s Vision for Asia in the Age of Japanese Imperialism. Edited with Yi Tae-Jin and Kirk W. Larsen. Lexington Books, 2017.
  • A Family of No Prominence: The Descendants of Pak Tŏkhwa and the Birth of Modern Korea. Stanford University Press, 2014.
  • Between Dreams and Reality: The Military Examination in Late Chosŏn Korea, 1600–1894. Harvard University Asia Center, 2007.

Courses taught

  • HIST 209: World History II
  • HIST 211: History of East Asia I
  • HIST 306: History of Korea
  • HIST 488C/688C: Topics in Nature and Culture: Genes, Environment, and Global History
  • HIST 499B: Applied History
  • HIST 703: Advanced Studies in History
  • HIST 705: Graduate Readings in History


  • Ph.D., East Asian languages and civilizations, Harvard University, 1999
  • A.M., regional studies East Asia, Harvard University, 1993
  • B.A., history, University of California, Los Angeles, 1991