UCLA historian speaks on "Non-Elite Identities in the Late Choson: Questions of Ethnicity, Status, and Conflict."
John Duncan, director of the UCLA Center for Korean Studies and Asian Languages and Cultures professor, delivered Washington University's Eleventh Annual Stanley Spector Lecture on East Asian History and Civilization on March 19, 2004.
Prof. Duncan's presentation drew on his current research into Korean local society and popular culture in the late imperial era. He explored how identity was constructed in the late 19th century, noting the role played by peasant uprisings, oral traditions, and gender roles.
Prof. Duncan completed his undergraduate training at Korea University and earned his Ph.D. at the University of Hawai'i. He has served as director of the Center for Korean Studies since 2001. Prof. Duncan's many publications include The Origins of the Choson Dynasty (University of Washington Press, 1998) and Rethinking Confucianism: Past and Present in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam (co-editor, Asia Pacific Monograph Series, 2002). Until recently he also wrote a biweekly column for a Korean newspaper.
The Spector Lecture series honors Stanley Spector (1924-1999) who began teaching at Washington University in 1955 and was the longtime chair or director of the university's Asian languages department, its Committee on Asian Studies, and its International Studies program. One of Prof. Spector's best know works is Li Hung-chang and the Huai Army (1964).