Borderland between Korea and Russia: Creating State Boundaries, Migration, and Ideologies, 1860-1937


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




This dissertation examines the construction of a modern state boundary between Korea and Russia from 1860 to 1937. It describes the fluid borderland—circular migrations of Koreans, overlapping economies, and conflicting ideas about territory—and the attempts of the state to define and enforce a “hardened” boundary by creating passport systems, migration laws, border institutions, and cultural policies. These practices transformed the international boundary into the primary site of articulating distinctions in states and state membership. Even as Korean migrants and intellectuals resisted the nascent border regime by manipulating new laws and propagandizing anti-imperialist ideas, their actions helped universalize the view of the border as the domain of the state.