My research and teaching interests intersect comparative politics, public policy, and histories of colonialism and empire in Southeast and East Asia since the late 19th century. I am especially interested in the historical development of states, illicit economies, and policies for regulating social vice. My book, entitled Empires of Vice (under contract with Princeton University Press) examines the comparative rise of opium prohibition across Southeast Asia from the 1870s to 1940s, shedding light on the colonial origins of the region’s current drug-related problems. My second book-length project explores the problem of “dirty” professions amongst untouchable groups in colonial Bengal, Korea, and Japan.
I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago and my B.A. from Korea University. Before joining Georgetown, I was a post-doctoral Prize Fellow in Economics, History, and Politics at Harvard University.