PhD'18 (international history) University of Chicago


Research Interests

United States–East Asia relations, particularly economic modernization, liberal internationalism, and social change in postwar Japan; war memories, nationalism, and human rights; civil society in China, Japan, and Korea, including the politics of nuclear environmentalism, non-proliferation, and energy competition, in the context of postcolonial economic liberalism


Security State, Moral Realism, and Post-Conflict Resolution: The Politics of Memory and Apologies in Japan


Taeju Kim is a PhD candidate in the Department of History where he specializes in East Asian international history and comparative politics. He completed his MA in the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago.

Taeju is currently completing his dissertation under the supervision of Bruce Cumings, Susan Burns, Michael Geyer, and Prasenjit Duara. His project explores the ways in which Japanese social scientists reconceptualized individualism and human rights within the context of anticolonial liberal internationalism, national security, and economic development after WWII. Using archival sources, popular journal articles, and political economic data analysis, he articulates how postwar globalization proactively produced both conflict and a new normative understanding between Japan and the United States. Taeju's dissertation project has been supported and funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Association for Asian Studies, the Toyota Foundation, and the University of Chicago's Division of the Social Sciences and the Center for East Asian Studies,

Taeju has taught courses on Japanese politics in the Department of Political Science and "Cold War Modern: US-Japan Relations" as a Von Holst Prize Lecturer in the Department of History. He has also served as a preceptor for the Public Policy Studies Program in the College and advised students on their senior BA theses. Taeju's teaching experience is wide ranging and includes courses on East Asian civilization, human rights (refugees, human trafficking, one-child policy, drug use and public health), war memories, civil society, racial and gender politics, nationalism, and the history of economic liberalism in postcolonial East Asia. Currently, Taeju is serving as a preceptor and instructor for graduate students in the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences.


—Historians Garner Teaching Prizes