Kyung Moon Hwang

Professor of History and East Asian Languages and Cultures

Contact Information
E-mail: khwang3@gmail.com
Phone: (213) 740-1672
Office: SOS 279

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

My research traces the transformation, especially into the modern era, of long-term historical patterns in Korea. Questions of modernity, comparative history, and historical memory interest me in particular. I just just completed a monographical study, Rationalizing Korea (University of California Press, 2015) of the origins, meaning, and concept of the modern state in Korea from the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

My book for general audiences and college classroom, A History of Korea: An Episodic Narrative, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010.  A revised, second edition will appeaer in 2016.  The Korean translation of this book was published by 21st Century Books [21 Segi Bukseu] in 2011.

I also write a bi-weekly column for the Korea Times of Seoul on Korean history.

My teaching spans the entirety of Korean history, with courses ranging from a general survey to specialized upper-level courses focusing on specific themes. I also teach courses occasionally in East Asian and world history. 


  • B.A. History, Oberlin College, 5/1990
  • M.A. Program in Regional Studies, East Asia, Harvard University, 6/1992
  • Ph.D. East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University, 11/1997

  • Postdoctoral Training

    • Post-doctoral Fellow, Center for Korean Studies, University of California at Berkeley, 1997-1998   

    Academic Appointment, Affiliation, and Employment History

    • Professor, University of Southern California, 12/17/2015-  
    • Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Southern California, 05/01/2004-12/17/2015  
    • Visiting Associate Professor, Department of History, Yale University, 08/01/2005-06/01/2006  
    • Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Southern California, 07/01/1998-04/30/2004  

    Description of Research

    Summary Statement of Research Interests
    Professor Hwang's scholarship examines the modern transformation of the structures of socio-political authority and hierarchy in Korea.
    Research Specialties
    Modern transformation of Korea.

    Conferences and Other Presentations

    Conference Presentations
    • ""Developmentalism and the Korean State in the Early 20th Century"", Symposium on Modern Korean History, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, University of California at Berkeley, Center for Korean Studies, Invited, Spring 2011   
    • ""Revelations about the Colonial State from the Ônyang Household Registers"", "The Modern Transformation of a Korean Locality", Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, USC, Korean Studies Institute, Invited, Spring 2010   
    • "On the Genealogies of Morality: The Chokpo in Korean History", Second Annual Conference of the International Genealogical Society of Korea, Talk/Oral Presentation, Paper, Salt Lake City, UT, Genealogy Society of Utah, Brigham Young Universit, Invited, Fall 2009   


    • Hwang, K. M. (2015). Rationalizing Korea: The Rise of the Modern State, 1894-1945. University of California Press.
    • Hwang, K. M. (2011). Maengnak euro ilgneun saeroun Han'guksa [A Contextual History of Korea]. Seoul: 21 Segi Bukseu [21st Century Books].
    • Hwang, K. M. (2010). A History of Korea: An Episodic Narrative. Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Hwang, K. M. (2004). Beyond Birth: Social Status in the Emergence of Modern Korea. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Asia Center, Harvard University Press.
    • Hwang, K. M., Shin, G. (2003). Contentious Kwangju: The May 18th Uprising in Korea's Past and Present. Rowman & Littlefield.

    Journal Article
    • Hwang, K. M. (2007). Nation, State, and the Modern Transformation of Korean Social Structure in the Early Twentieth Century. History Compass/Blackwell. Vol. NA PubMed Web Address
    • Hwang, K. M. (2004). Citizenship, Social Equality, and Government Reform: Changes in the Household Registration System in Korea, 1894-1910. Modern Asian Studies/Cambridge University Press. pp. p. 355-87.

    • Hwang, K. M. From the Dirt to Heaven: Northern Koreans in the Chosôn and Early Modern Eras, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 62.1, June 2002 .

    Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

    • Newspaper column, Columnist, bi-weekly, on Korean history for The Korea Times, Seoul., 04/15/2014-  

    Honors and Awards

    • USC Innovative Teaching Award, 2009-2010   
    • Advanced Research Grant, Korea Foundation, 2007-2008  
    • Korea Foundation Fellowship, 2002  
    • Junior Reserach Fellowship, Academy of Korean Studies, 2001  
    • USC Innovative Teaching Award, USC Center for Excellence in Teaching Innovative Teaching Grant, 2000  

    Service to the University

    Other Service to the University
    • Faculty Master, Parkside Arts and Humanities Residential College, 07/2007-06/2011  

  • Department of History
  • 3502 Trousdale Parkway
  • Social Sciences Building (SOS) 153
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 90089-0034