Michael Robinson

Professor, East Asia Languages and Cultures
Indiana University

Research Interests:
Modern Korea, Intellectual and cultural history, Japanese colonialism, Popular culture, Transnational studies

Awards and Distinctions:
Indiana University Trustee’s Teaching Award, 2006; Distinguished Lecturer in Korean Studies, Committee for Korean

Studies,Northeast Asia Council, Association for Asian Studies, 2004; Professor in Residence, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, University of Paris, 2001; Senior Research Fellow, Korea Foundation (Seoul, Korea), 1994; NEH Summer Research Grantee, 1990; Fulbright Fellowship (Seoul, Korea), 1987

Selected Publications:
Colonial Modernity in Korea (Cambridge: East Asia Council Publications, 1999), co-edited with Gi-Wook Shin; Korea Old and New: A History (Cambridge: Korea Institute, 1990), with Carter Eckert, Young-ick Lew, Edward Wagner, Ki-Baek Lee; Cultural Nationalism in Colonial Korea (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988); Korea's Twentieth Century Odyessey: A Short History, University of Hawaii Press, 2007.

Robinson’s research is focused on modern Korea in the early to mid-20th century. Robinson has a particular interest in the period of colonial rule between 1910-1945. Early work was in the field of intellectual and political history of the Korean nationalist movement in the 1920s.

He has interest in ideology and the general issue of political identity formation. Since the late 1980s, Robinson shifted towards an examination of the cultural history of Korea during the period Japanese rule. The re-opening of the consideration of nationalism as a more fluid, constructed phenomenon has pulled his work away from direct inquiry with political texts and the representations of individual nationalist ideologues and toward a more general study of the links between popular culture, group identity, and political elites.

He is currently writing a monograph on the origins, evolution, and significance of broadcasting during the colonial period. His teaching draws from a general background as a Koreanist trained in the modern history of the East Asian region.

He teaches courses on Korean civilization, modern Korean history, the history of Asian immigration to the U.S., cultural identity and nationalism in East Asia, and East Asian popular culture. Because of his broad background in the history and contemporary cultural developments of the East Asian region, he also works with graduate students in Japanese and Chinese history, literature, and culture as well as students from Cultural Studies, Folklore, and Anthropology.

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