hopark


Hyun Ok Park

Photo of Hyun Ok Park

Department of Sociology

Associate Professor

Office: Vari Hall, 2096
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 77986
Email: hopark@yorku.ca

With archival and ethnographic research, my research investigates global capitalism in colonial, industrial, and financial forms, democracy, socialism, and post-socialist transition, especially in terms of the experience of laborers, ethnic and diasporic minorities, and refugees. These areas of focus have led me to engage with the critical theory of modernity and otherness, postcolonialism, and transnational and global history, to which I have contributed my anchored sociological inquiry of capitalism and social change.

Before joining the department in 2007, I had taught at the University of Michigan and New York University. My research has been supported by the John. D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, Academy of Korean Studies, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Published Books:

Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria (Duke University Press, 2005). This book presents the Korean migration as a transnational mechanism of Japanese empire-building. Koreans’ border-crossing migration, their rice farming and land ownership, and their nationality were contested terrains for the bedfellow-like relationship of Japanese and Chinese powers in the capitalist transformation from a ground-rent to a credit system in Manchuria.


The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea (Columbia University Press, 2015). This book argues that Korea is already unified in a transnational form by capital. Rather than long-awaited territorial and family union, the capitalist unconscious drives the current unification, imagining the capitalist integration of the Korean peninsula and the Korean diaspora as a new democratic moment. The chiasmus in this book is not so much between ethnic national sovereignty and nation-state formation as between modern sovereignty and global capitalism.

Projects in Progress:
• First, I have begun a new oral history project on Korean Chinese women in northeast China, to bring gender into my study of the experience of transnational migration and Cold War memories.

• Second, I have returned to a study of the North Korean community in Japan, tentatively entitled “‘In the Name of History’: Stateless Koreans in Japan,” for which I conducted archival research and interviews years ago. The politics of Koreans in Japan is conventionally studied as a local Cold War history: their divided identification with two Koreas, their stateless status in Japan, and their struggle for social and civil rights. My study turns this local history into a global and transnational history of the Cold War. Their small business and ethnic education movement enabled their participation in their homelands’ Cold War. They are now linked with a new global capitalist network, hiring migrant workers from South Korea, China, and other Asia-Pacific regions. Their latest claim for the right not to have rights is investigated in these old and new contexts along with the analysis of their memory of colonial experience as migrant and day laborers.

• Third, a new book in progress delineates alternatives to neoliberalism from the perspective of its victims’ struggles, focusing on the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster in South Korea and the consequent movement to uncover the truth about it. Tentatively entitled “‘Radical Politics of Our Times: The Sewol Disaster, Truth, and Democracy,” this book recognizes the Sewolho movement as a culmination of the struggle for sovereignty by those who are expelled from factory jobs, rented stores, and farmlands under neoliberal rule, and who define that loss as the loss of life itself in their ongoing resistance beyond labor and identity politics.

Degrees

Ph.D., Department of Sociology, University of California at Berkeley

Professional Leadership

MEMBERSHIP OF EDITORIAL BOARD
2019-2022 Global Perspectives (University of California Press)
2007 - Present Economy and Society (Seoul, Korea)
2007 - 2015 Korea Journal
1998 - 2005 Economy and Society (Seoul, Korea)

MANUSCRIPT REVIEWS
1999 – 2016 - Book manuscript reviews for Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, Duke University Press, and Cornell University Press.
1997 2011 Article reviews for the journals, Contemporary Sociology, American Journal of Sociology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Social Problems, Journal of International Migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Political Studies, Positions, and Journal of Korean Studies.
Fellowship application review for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Canadian Sociological Association
American Sociological Association
Association for Asian Studies
Social Science History Association

Research Interests

, Global Capitalism; Marxism and Critical Theory ; Historical and Comparative studies; Postcoloniality; Historical Memory; and Korea and Korean Diaspora., global capitalism, critical theory, historical sociology, nationalism and citizenship, post/colonialism, transnational and diasporic migration, Korea
Books

Publication
Year

The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

2015

Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005 xix, 314 pp.

2005

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

“We Are All Migrant Laborers”: Democracy and Universal Politics,” in Tina Mai Chen and David S. Churchill (eds.), The Material of World History. New York: Routledge Press, pp 189-204.

2015

"For the Rights of Colonial Returnees: Korean Chinese, Decolonization, Neoliberal Democracy in South Korea” in Jesook Song (ed.), Millennial South Korea: Neoliberalism, Routledge Press.

2010

"The Politics of Korean Unification and Neoliberal Democracy,” in Sonia Ryang (ed.), North Korea: Towards a Better Understanding. Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield Press, 31 pp.

2009

“Democracy as the Transcendence of History: Decolonization, Violence of the Past, and the Korean Chinese in South Korea,” in Dong-Hoon Seol and Jungmin Seo (eds.), The Korean Nation and Its “Others” in the Age of Globalization and Democratization. The Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

2007

“Desires for North Korea,” in Andrew Ross and Kristin Ross (eds.), Anti-Americanism, New York University Press, pp. 221-234.

2004

“Enlightenment and Nationalism,” “Anti-Communism and Nationalism,” “Korean Nationalism,” “Park Chung Hee’s Nationalism,” “Kim Il Sung’s Nationalism.” Encyclopedia of Nationalism, edited by Alexander J. Motyl. San Diego: Harcourt Academic Press.

2000

"Ideals of Liberation," in Elain Kim and Chungmoo Choi (eds.), Dangerous Women: Korean Nationalism and Women. New York, Routledge Press, pp.229-248.

1998

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

Namhee Lee, The Making of Minjung: Democracy and the Politics of Representation in South Korea (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007). Contemporary Sociology.

2009

Nancy Abelmann, Echoes of the Past, Epics of Dissent: A South Korean Social Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). American Journal of Sociology. Volume 104 (1): 1092-1093.

1998

Gi-Wook Shin, Peasant Protest and Social Change in Colonial Korea (Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1996). Contemporary Sociology 27 (4): 410-411.

1998

Monographs

Publication
Year

Problems of Comparability/Possibilities for Comparative Studies. Issue of Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture, co-edited with Harry Harootunian. Volume 32, Number 2, Summer 2005. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 258 pp

2005

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

"Repetition, Comparability, and Indeterminable Nation: Korean Migrants in the 1920s and 1990s,” in Harry Harootunian and Hyun Ok Park (eds.), Problems of Comparability/Possibilities for Comparative Studies. Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture 32 (2): 227-251.

2005

"Anti-Americanism and Realignment in the Two Koreas.” Radical Philosophy 119 (May/June), pp. 2-5.

2003

"Korean Manchuria: The Racial Politics of the Territorial Osmosis.” South Atlantic Quarterly, 99: 1 (Winter 2000), pp. 193-215.

2000


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOCI2040 6.0 A Sociological Theory LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOCI2040 6.0 A Sociological Theory LECT

With archival and ethnographic research, my research investigates global capitalism in colonial, industrial, and financial forms, democracy, socialism, and post-socialist transition, especially in terms of the experience of laborers, ethnic and diasporic minorities, and refugees. These areas of focus have led me to engage with the critical theory of modernity and otherness, postcolonialism, and transnational and global history, to which I have contributed my anchored sociological inquiry of capitalism and social change.

Before joining the department in 2007, I had taught at the University of Michigan and New York University. My research has been supported by the John. D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, Academy of Korean Studies, and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Published Books:

Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria (Duke University Press, 2005). This book presents the Korean migration as a transnational mechanism of Japanese empire-building. Koreans’ border-crossing migration, their rice farming and land ownership, and their nationality were contested terrains for the bedfellow-like relationship of Japanese and Chinese powers in the capitalist transformation from a ground-rent to a credit system in Manchuria.


The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea (Columbia University Press, 2015). This book argues that Korea is already unified in a transnational form by capital. Rather than long-awaited territorial and family union, the capitalist unconscious drives the current unification, imagining the capitalist integration of the Korean peninsula and the Korean diaspora as a new democratic moment. The chiasmus in this book is not so much between ethnic national sovereignty and nation-state formation as between modern sovereignty and global capitalism.

Projects in Progress:
• First, I have begun a new oral history project on Korean Chinese women in northeast China, to bring gender into my study of the experience of transnational migration and Cold War memories.

• Second, I have returned to a study of the North Korean community in Japan, tentatively entitled “‘In the Name of History’: Stateless Koreans in Japan,” for which I conducted archival research and interviews years ago. The politics of Koreans in Japan is conventionally studied as a local Cold War history: their divided identification with two Koreas, their stateless status in Japan, and their struggle for social and civil rights. My study turns this local history into a global and transnational history of the Cold War. Their small business and ethnic education movement enabled their participation in their homelands’ Cold War. They are now linked with a new global capitalist network, hiring migrant workers from South Korea, China, and other Asia-Pacific regions. Their latest claim for the right not to have rights is investigated in these old and new contexts along with the analysis of their memory of colonial experience as migrant and day laborers.

• Third, a new book in progress delineates alternatives to neoliberalism from the perspective of its victims’ struggles, focusing on the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster in South Korea and the consequent movement to uncover the truth about it. Tentatively entitled “‘Radical Politics of Our Times: The Sewol Disaster, Truth, and Democracy,” this book recognizes the Sewolho movement as a culmination of the struggle for sovereignty by those who are expelled from factory jobs, rented stores, and farmlands under neoliberal rule, and who define that loss as the loss of life itself in their ongoing resistance beyond labor and identity politics.

Degrees

Ph.D., Department of Sociology, University of California at Berkeley

Professional Leadership

MEMBERSHIP OF EDITORIAL BOARD
2019-2022 Global Perspectives (University of California Press)
2007 - Present Economy and Society (Seoul, Korea)
2007 - 2015 Korea Journal
1998 - 2005 Economy and Society (Seoul, Korea)

MANUSCRIPT REVIEWS
1999 – 2016 - Book manuscript reviews for Cambridge University Press, Columbia University Press, Duke University Press, and Cornell University Press.
1997 2011 Article reviews for the journals, Contemporary Sociology, American Journal of Sociology, Comparative Studies in Society and History, Social Problems, Journal of International Migration, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Political Studies, Positions, and Journal of Korean Studies.
Fellowship application review for the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Canadian Sociological Association
American Sociological Association
Association for Asian Studies
Social Science History Association

Research Interests

, Global Capitalism; Marxism and Critical Theory ; Historical and Comparative studies; Postcoloniality; Historical Memory; and Korea and Korean Diaspora., global capitalism, critical theory, historical sociology, nationalism and citizenship, post/colonialism, transnational and diasporic migration, Korea

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

“We Are All Migrant Laborers”: Democracy and Universal Politics,” in Tina Mai Chen and David S. Churchill (eds.), The Material of World History. New York: Routledge Press, pp 189-204.

2015

"For the Rights of Colonial Returnees: Korean Chinese, Decolonization, Neoliberal Democracy in South Korea” in Jesook Song (ed.), Millennial South Korea: Neoliberalism, Routledge Press.

2010

"The Politics of Korean Unification and Neoliberal Democracy,” in Sonia Ryang (ed.), North Korea: Towards a Better Understanding. Lexington Books/Rowman and Littlefield Press, 31 pp.

2009

“Democracy as the Transcendence of History: Decolonization, Violence of the Past, and the Korean Chinese in South Korea,” in Dong-Hoon Seol and Jungmin Seo (eds.), The Korean Nation and Its “Others” in the Age of Globalization and Democratization. The Center for Korean Studies, University of Hawaii at Manoa.

2007

“Desires for North Korea,” in Andrew Ross and Kristin Ross (eds.), Anti-Americanism, New York University Press, pp. 221-234.

2004

“Enlightenment and Nationalism,” “Anti-Communism and Nationalism,” “Korean Nationalism,” “Park Chung Hee’s Nationalism,” “Kim Il Sung’s Nationalism.” Encyclopedia of Nationalism, edited by Alexander J. Motyl. San Diego: Harcourt Academic Press.

2000

"Ideals of Liberation," in Elain Kim and Chungmoo Choi (eds.), Dangerous Women: Korean Nationalism and Women. New York, Routledge Press, pp.229-248.

1998

Book Reviews

Publication
Year

Namhee Lee, The Making of Minjung: Democracy and the Politics of Representation in South Korea (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007). Contemporary Sociology.

2009

Nancy Abelmann, Echoes of the Past, Epics of Dissent: A South Korean Social Movement (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996). American Journal of Sociology. Volume 104 (1): 1092-1093.

1998

Gi-Wook Shin, Peasant Protest and Social Change in Colonial Korea (Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1996). Contemporary Sociology 27 (4): 410-411.

1998

Books

Publication
Year

The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea. New York: Columbia University Press, 2015.

2015

Two Dreams in One Bed: Empire, Social Life, and the Origins of the North Korean Revolution in Manchuria. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2005 xix, 314 pp.

2005

Monographs

Publication
Year

Problems of Comparability/Possibilities for Comparative Studies. Issue of Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture, co-edited with Harry Harootunian. Volume 32, Number 2, Summer 2005. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 258 pp

2005

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

"Repetition, Comparability, and Indeterminable Nation: Korean Migrants in the 1920s and 1990s,” in Harry Harootunian and Hyun Ok Park (eds.), Problems of Comparability/Possibilities for Comparative Studies. Boundary 2: An International Journal of Literature and Culture 32 (2): 227-251.

2005

"Anti-Americanism and Realignment in the Two Koreas.” Radical Philosophy 119 (May/June), pp. 2-5.

2003

"Korean Manchuria: The Racial Politics of the Territorial Osmosis.” South Atlantic Quarterly, 99: 1 (Winter 2000), pp. 193-215.

2000


Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOCI2040 6.0 A Sociological Theory LECT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/SOCI2040 6.0 A Sociological Theory LECT