Dissertation Title:
Free Labor, Free Trade, and Free Immigration: The Vision of the Pacific Community after the American Civil War

My dissertation, entitled “Free Labor, Free Trade, and Free Immigration,” explores the rise and fall of the “Pacific community” in the decades following the American Civil War. It approaches this narrative through the ideas and activities of “antislavery internationalists,” who believed that freedom of immigration and trade in the Pacific would ensure not only their nation’s prosperity but also the vitality of its free labor system after the emancipation of slavery. By tracing both achievements and frustrations in their endeavors of connecting the American West and East Asia into a single transnational community, my dissertation argues that free labor ideology, once a weapon to attack slavery in the American South, was critical in both constructing and unravelling the Pacific community vision. my narrative, which combines the transatlantic intellectual history with the transpacific social history, will rediscover the complex relationships among a set of historical paradoxes in late nineteenth-century America: the power of antislavery ideology in the post-slavery era, the collapse of free trade amid the Open Door rhetoric, and the Chinese exclusion during the transformation of the United States into a Pacific nation.

“Charles Sumner and the Slavery Question,” Western History Review 117 (2013): 197-229.This article is published under the heading of “The First Winner of The Korean Society for Western History Award for the Best Master’s Thesis.” (in Korean)

Awards and Fellowships:
Albert J. Beveridge Grant for Research in the History of the Western Hemisphere, American Historical Association, April 2019.

The Arthur J. Quinn Memorial Fellowship, The Bancroft Library at University of California at Berkeley, April 2019.

Huntington Library Fellowship, The Huntington Library, February 2019.

KASF Scholarship Award, The Korean American Scholarship Foundation, October 2017.

“Award for the Best Master’s Thesis.” The Korean Society for Western History, May 2013.

Research Areas

19th-century U.S. political and intellectual history; the Civil War and reconstruction; transpacific history; transatlantic history; women and gender


M.A. History, Rice University

M.A. History, Seoul National University, Korea

B.A. History, Seoul National University, Korea


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