James Person

James Person

Lecturer of Korea Studies
Korea Studies

Background and Education

James F. Person is a Lecturer of Korea Studies at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Prior to joining Johns Hopkins SAIS, he was the founding Director of the Hyundai Motor-Korea Foundation Center for Korean History and Public Policy at the Wilson Center. Between 2007 and early 2017, he served as the founding Coordinator of the North Korea International Documentation Project, and was Deputy Director of the History and Public Policy Program at the Wilson Center from 2013 to 2017.

He teaches courses on modern Korean history at Johns Hopkins SAIS and has taught at the George Washington University. He has appeared on CBS, CSPAN, National Public Radio, Vice News, KBS, and his interviews have appeared in Newsweek, CNN, USA Today, the LA Times, the Donga Daily, and other news outlets. He has worked as a consultant on historical documentaries. Dr. Person holds a Ph.D. in modern Korean history from the George Washington University, M.Phil. from Lomonosov Moscow State University, and B.A. from the George Washington University.

2017-09-29 00:00:00 
Fall 2018 
This course giv...
This course gives an historically informed overview of politics and society in the Republic of Korea, focusing on profiles in political leadership and the development of political institutions. It considers the legacies of pre-modern tradition, colonial regimentation, Cold War militarism, and national division on domestic politics. Specific topics include authoritarianism, democratic transition and consolidation, civil society, government-led industrialization, and debates on Korean unification.

Fall 2018 
This course exa...
This course examines the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula through historical and diplomatic practitioners’ perspectives. Politically, the strategic interests of major powers intersect on the Korean Peninsula; in a place China long felt part of its sphere of influence, the United States now maintains a military presence. Drawing on original diplomatic documents and other source materials, as well as first-hand experience of current-day diplomats, this course will consider the trajectory of the two Koreas’ relationships with the United States and China and their role in the international politics of East Asia.
Spring 2019 
The course will...
The course will explore how the division of the Korean peninsula not only came into being but also how it shaped the socio-political, cultural, and ideological trajectories of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) since 1945. Through scholarly writings, primary source documents, and fiction, we will examine particular themes relevant to understanding the two Koreas today, including colonialism, communism, modernization, nationalism, industrialization, ideology, US-Korean and Sino/Soviet-North Korean relations.