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Todd A. Henry

Department of History
University of California, San Diego
9500 Gilman Drive MC 0104
La Jolla , California , 92093-0104
H&SS Room: 3008

Curriculum Vitae

Todd A. Henry (Ph.D., UCLA, 2006; Assistant Professor) is a specialist of modern Korea with a focus on the period of Japanese rule (1910-45). He is also interested in social and cultural formations linking post-Asia-Pacific War South Korea, North Korea, and Japan (1945-present) within the geopolitical contexts of American militarism and the Cold War. Dr. Henry has completed a book on public spaces and colonial power in Seoul, and is currently working on a comparative and transnational study of contemporary queer Korea (1945-1995) with a focus on sexualized labor, colonial/military occupation, and the entertainment industry. Dr. Henry has received two Fulbright grants (Kyoto University, 2004-5; Hanyang and Ewha Women's Universities, 2013) and two fellowships from the Korea Foundation (Seoul National University, 2003-4; Harvard University, 2008-9). At UCSD, he is an affiliate faculty member of the Program in Critical Gender Studies (CGS) and the acting director of the Program in Transnational Korean Studies, the recipient of a five-year (2013-18) $600,000 grant from the Academy of Korean Studies as a Core University Program for Korean Studies (CUPKS).



  • Assimilating Seoul: Japanese Rule and the Politics of Public Space in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, Asia-Pacific Modern Series, 2014)
  • Remembering Queer Korea: Modern/Colonial, Contemporary, and Current Formations (edited volume in preparation)
  • Visualizing Queer Korea: Media Culture, Sex Industry, and Underground Politics, 1945-1995 (in progress)
  • Japan’s Gay Empire: Sex Tourism, Military Culture, and Memory Making in Postcolonial Asia-Pacific (in progress)


  • “Sanitizing Empire: Japanese Articulations of Korean Otherness and the Construction of Early Colonial Seoul, 1905-19,” Journal of Asian Studies vol. 64, no. 3 (Aug. 2005): 639-75
  • “Respatializing Chosŏn’s Royal Capital: The Politics of Japanese Urban Reforms in Early Colonial Seoul, 1905-19” in Timothy Tangherlini and Sallie Yea (eds.), Sitings: Critical Approaches to Korean Geography (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 2007): 15-38
  • “Celebrating Empire, Fighting War: The 1940 Exposition in Late Colonial Korea” (in Korean), Asea yon’gu (The Journal of Asiatic Studies, Korea University), vol. 51, no. 4 (Winter 2008): 72-112
  • “Assimilation’s Racializing Sensibilities: Colonized Koreans as Yobos and the ‘Yobo-ization’ of Expatriate Japanese,” Positions: Asia Critique vol. 21, no. 1 (Winter 2013): 11-49
  • “Between Surveillance and Liberation: The Lives of Cross-Dressed Male Sex Workers in Early Postwar Japan” in Susan Stryker and Aren Aizura (eds.), The Transgender Studies Reader, Volume 2 (London and New York: Routledge, 2013): 399-413
  •  “Showcase Thoroughfares, Wretched Alleys: The Uneven Development of Colonial Seoul (Keijō)” in Sugimoto Fumiko, Cary Karacas, and Kären Wigen (eds.), Cartographic Japan (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming)
  • “Ch’anggyŏng Garden as Postcolonial Heterotopia: Spectacles of Anti-Communist ‘Comfort’ and National Industry in Early South(ern) Korea” (submitted for review)
  • “A Documentary Impulse: The Historical Imagination of Queer Films in Contemporary South Korea” (in preparation)
  • “Tying the Queer Knot: The Not-So-Hidden History of Female Same-Sex Marriage in Contemporary South Korea” (in preparation)
  • “The Past in the Present: Japan’s Gay Empire in Post-WWII Asia-Pacific” (in preparation)

Book Reviews

  • Ann Stoler, Carole McGranahan, and Peter Perdue (eds.), Imperial Formations (Santa Fe, N.M.: School for Advanced Research Press; Oxford [U.K.]: James Currey, 2007) in The Journal of World History vol. 21, no. 2 (June 2010): 349-53
  • Mark E. Caprio, Japanese Assimilation Policies in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2009) in Pacific Affairs vol. 83, no. 4 (Dec. 2010): 802-4
  • E. Taylor Atkins, Primitive Selves: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910-1945 (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2010) in Korean Studies vol. 35 (2012): 352-7
  • Jun Uchida, Brokers of Empire: Japanese Settler Colonialism in Korea, 1876-1945 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011) in The Journal of Korean Studies vol. 18, no. 1 (Spring 2013): 151-54
  • Richard S. Kim, The Quest for Statehood: Korean Immigrant Nationalism and U.S. Sovereignty, 1905-45 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) in The American Historical Review vol. 118, no. 2 (Spring 2013): 490-91


  • “Inabata Katsutaro (1862-1947) and Non-Governmental Economic Diplomacy between Japan and Turkey” by Kimura Masato in Selcuk Esenbel and Inaba Chiharu (eds.), The Rising Sun from Japanese and the Turkish Crescent: New Perspectives on the History of Japanese-Turkish Relations (Istanbul: Bogazici University Press, 2003): 166-94
  • “Lifestyles in the Gay Bars” by Kabiya Kazuhiko [originally published in Amatoria (Studies in sexual customs) June-August 1955] in Mark McLelland, Katsuhiko Suganuma, and James Walker (eds.), Queer Voices from Japan: First Person Narratives from Japan’s Sexual Minorities (Lanham: Lexington Press, 2007): 105-38
  • “Chosŏn’s Adoption of International Law and its Conflicts with China in the 1880s” by Yi Tae-jin in Dynamics of Confucianism and Modernization in Korean History (Ithaca: Cornell University East Asia Series, 2007): 139-64

Courses Taught

  • HILD 12: Twentieth-Century East Asia
  • HIEA 150: Modern Korea, 1800-1945
  • HIEA 151: The Two Koreas, 1945-Present
  • HIEA 152: Histories and Cultures of the Korean Diaspora
  • HIEA 153: Social and Cultural History of Twentieth-Century Korea
  • HIEA 180/280: Topics in Modern Korean History (2010: Touring Seoul)
  • HITO 165/265: Topics in LGBT History 
  • CGS 104: Advanced Topics in Comparative Perspectives (2012: Queer in East Asia: History, Culture, and Community; 2014: Queer Contact Zones in Asian, Intra-Asian, and Asian-American Studies)
  • HIGR 207: Nationalism, Colonialism and Race
  • HIGR 214: Historical Scholarship on Modern Korean History (2011: Gender/Sexuality; 2012: Cold War “Korea” as Transnational History)

Future Research

Another project will trace the genealogies of what I am calling South Korea’s “Chosŏn Renaissance.” By this term, I mean to convey the uncanny ways in which selective elements of the Chosŏn dynasty (1392-1910), previously considered a primary cause for the peninsula’s slide into Japanese rule (1910-45), were positively re-imagined as the basis for national identity and international tourism in post-colonial/anti-communist South Korea (1945-present). In particular, I will examine how “Chosŏn things” have come to circulate in overlapping forms, which include the built environment, historical narratives, and popular culture.