Carter J. Eckert, a longtime faculty member in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, has been named Yoon Se Young Professor of Korean History.
Originally trained in Western ancient and medieval history at Lawrence College and Harvard, Eckert developed a strong interest in Korea and East Asia after working in Seoul as a Peace Corps volunteer in the late 1960s and 1970s. After working and studying in Korea, he returned to the United States for doctoral study in Korean and Japanese history at the University of Washington.
Since 1985 Eckert has taught modern Korean history at Harvard, serving as director of Harvard’s Korea Institute from 1993 to 2004. The author of two books, Eckert is currently working on a new textbook of modern Korean history for Oxford University Press. He is also engaged in several projects relating to modern Korean history, including a study of the historical and ideological context of the May 16 Military Revolution in South Korea.
Eckert has served on many boards and committees promoting scholarship on Korea and the enhancement of U.S.-Korean relations, including the Committee on Korean Studies for the Association for Asian Studies, the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Asia Society, and the Korea Society. He is presently a member of the advisory committee of the Korea Foundation, the editorial board of the Journal of Korean Studies, and the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies. Earlier this year he was appointed Honorary Distinguished Professor at Ewha University in Seoul.
Eckert is the first occupant of the Yoon Se Young Professorship. The chair was established in honor of Yoon Se Young, the chairman of the Seoul Broadcasting System, to “contribute to the knowledge and understanding of problems and issues relevant to Korea and East Asia.”