hopark


Hyun Ok Park

Photo of Hyun Ok Park

Department of Sociology

Professor

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

Hyun Ok Park is a Professor of Sociology at York University. Before joining York in 2007, she taught at the University of Michigan and New York University. With archival and ethnographic research, her 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. She engages with the critical theory of modernity and otherness, postcolonialism, and transnational and global history, to which she contributes with her anchored sociological inquiry of capitalism and social change.

She is the Project Director of “Korea in the World, the World in Korean Studies,” a collaborative project of Korean studies scholars at York, eastern Canada, and the US, which is funded by the Core University Program for Korean Studies grant (1.1M, 2018-2023) from the Academy of Korean Studies. She is the Director of the Korean Office for Research and Education at York set up by the grant.

She was a Member of the School of Historical Studies (Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth fellow, 2005-2006) and a Visitor in the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ). Her research has been also supported by other fellowships, including the John. D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, and Academy of Korean Studies' senior research grant. She sits on the editorial boards of Economy and Society (Seoul, Korea) and Global Perspectives (University of California Press).

PUBLISHED BOOKS:

1. 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 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.


2. The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea (Columbia University Press, 2015; The 2017 James Palais Book Award of the Association for Asian Studies, Honorable Mention). 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.

FORTHCOMING ARTICLES:

“The Politics of Time: The Sewŏl Ferry Disaster and the Disaster of Democracy.” Journal of Asian Studies (2022).

“The Candlelight Revolution in South Korea," in David Snow, Donatella della Porta, and Doug McAdam (eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social & Political Movements.

BOOK IN PROGRESS:

"A Sublime Disaster: The Sewol Ferry Incident and the Politics of the Living Dead."
This manuscript critiques the statist-juridical form of democratization and the cultural turn of the emancipatory politics in South Korea since the 1990s. It discusses fascism and its anti-thesis not just in the political (party politics, mass protests, and regime change) but also in the social (singularity, non-identity, and the sociability of fun and festival).

TWO 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.

Degrees

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

Research Interests

, Global Capitalism; Marxism and Critical Theory ; Historical and Comparative studies; Postcoloniality; Historical Memory; and Korea and Korean Diaspora.
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

Forthcoming (2022)



Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/SOCI4360 6.0 A Migration Experiences: Theory & Practice REMT
Fall 2021 AP/SOCI3430 6.0 A Ethnicity, Power and Identity REMT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/SOCI4360 6.0 A Migration Experiences: Theory & Practice REMT

Hyun Ok Park is a Professor of Sociology at York University. Before joining York in 2007, she taught at the University of Michigan and New York University. With archival and ethnographic research, her 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. She engages with the critical theory of modernity and otherness, postcolonialism, and transnational and global history, to which she contributes with her anchored sociological inquiry of capitalism and social change.

She is the Project Director of “Korea in the World, the World in Korean Studies,” a collaborative project of Korean studies scholars at York, eastern Canada, and the US, which is funded by the Core University Program for Korean Studies grant (1.1M, 2018-2023) from the Academy of Korean Studies. She is the Director of the Korean Office for Research and Education at York set up by the grant.

She was a Member of the School of Historical Studies (Elizabeth and J. Richardson Dilworth fellow, 2005-2006) and a Visitor in the Program in Interdisciplinary Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ). Her research has been also supported by other fellowships, including the John. D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, and Academy of Korean Studies' senior research grant. She sits on the editorial boards of Economy and Society (Seoul, Korea) and Global Perspectives (University of California Press).

PUBLISHED BOOKS:

1. 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 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.


2. The Capitalist Unconscious: From Korean Unification to Transnational Korea (Columbia University Press, 2015; The 2017 James Palais Book Award of the Association for Asian Studies, Honorable Mention). 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.

FORTHCOMING ARTICLES:

“The Politics of Time: The Sewŏl Ferry Disaster and the Disaster of Democracy.” Journal of Asian Studies (2022).

“The Candlelight Revolution in South Korea," in David Snow, Donatella della Porta, and Doug McAdam (eds.), The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social & Political Movements.

BOOK IN PROGRESS:

"A Sublime Disaster: The Sewol Ferry Incident and the Politics of the Living Dead."
This manuscript critiques the statist-juridical form of democratization and the cultural turn of the emancipatory politics in South Korea since the 1990s. It discusses fascism and its anti-thesis not just in the political (party politics, mass protests, and regime change) but also in the social (singularity, non-identity, and the sociability of fun and festival).

TWO 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.

Degrees

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

Research Interests

, Global Capitalism; Marxism and Critical Theory ; Historical and Comparative studies; Postcoloniality; Historical Memory; and Korea and Korean Diaspora.

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

Forthcoming (2022)



Current Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/SOCI4360 6.0 A Migration Experiences: Theory & Practice REMT
Fall 2021 AP/SOCI3430 6.0 A Ethnicity, Power and Identity REMT


Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall/Winter 2021 AP/SOCI4360 6.0 A Migration Experiences: Theory & Practice REMT