New Research in South Korea

July 7, 2014

Amanda Nagy

Sheila Miyoshi Jager
Professor of East Asian studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager.
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones

Professor of East Asian studies Sheila Miyoshi Jager has been awarded a 10-month Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Fellowship for scholarly work in South Korea. Jager will use the Fulbright grant to do research for her current book project, which is also the topic of a new course she will teach at Oberlin.

She will depart for South Korea this month, and she will be on leave for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Jager says the tentative title of her book is The Other Great Game: The Opening of Korea and America's Rise to World Power. “The book chronicles the ‘Great Game’ in East Asia that took place at the close of the 19th century when China, Japan, and Russia all fought over the impoverished but strategically important Korean peninsula. The vast chessboard on which this Great Game was played caused two major wars and cost hundreds of thousands of lives, and it transformed the East Asian region, and the world, forever,” she explains. “The book explores how, in the midst of these momentous changes in East Asia, America rose up to become a great power.

Jager’s most recent book, Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea, chronicles the bitter, ongoing struggle between North Korea and South Korea. Published in July 2013 to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Korean War armistice, the book received praise from the New York Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications for its comprehensive and balanced history of the Korean War.

Jager was nominated by her publisher and selected by the Library of Congress to participate in the 2013 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

At Oberlin, Jager is director of the East Asian studies program. Her courses include Korea: Past, Present and Future; a First Year Seminar on The Cold War in Asia; and an upper level seminar on the Korean War. After her Fulbright year, she plans to offer a new course called The Opening of Korea, 1876-1905, which will be based on the scholarly work from her current book project.

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