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Research 研究 연구



I am currently an assistant professor at Kyoto University's Hakubi Center for Advanced Research / the Institute for Research in Humanities. My research interest lies in disputes over historical memory and the role that academia, politics, media and the public play in this process. In particular, I aim to write a global history of post-Cold War history disputes and their relationship to the early Cold War period in what I deem to be "Cold War frontlines." Specifically, my individual research focuses on South Korea, Austria, Japan, and divided Germany, and structural synchronicities between the four cases.


I received my PhD in contemporary history at Kyoto University's Graduate School of Letters in 2024. My PhD thesis is titled "Asymmetric Remembering in Post-Authoritarian South Korea: The Contested Cultural Memory of Liberation, Division and State Foundation, 1987–2022," and was submitted to Kyoto University in December 2023. Previously, I completed two BA courses in Japanese studies and Korean studies at the University of Vienna (2014), and a Master's program in contemporary history at Kyoto University (2018).

As a project assistant, I was previously (2011-2015) also involved in a project on informal contacts between Central Europeans and Koreans at the University of Vienna, which enabled me to conduct research on the biography of Francesca Donner-Rhee, the Austrian-born former First Lady of President Syngman Rhee, as well as more broadly trace the stories of Austrians who visited the Korean peninsula between liberation in 1945 and the Korean war armistice in 1953.

Since 2021, I also work as a part-time lecturer at Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS), where I currently teach an introduction into German and Austrian contemporary history and issues of memory, as well as German from levels A1 to B2.

In addition, in June 2023, I was chosen to be a Kyoto Prefecture Honorary Friendship Ambassador. In this function, I hope to build further bridges between Kyoto and Europe.

Being particularly interested in how “contemporary history” is memorized and disputed, my main research has focused on historicizing mnemonic struggles in Northeast Asia: What is remembered, how, by whom, why, and how? In what ways is "history" and "historical memory" contested in this region? What can this tell us about Cold War history in general?


The issue of how the memory of division into two separate Korean states and the South’s “foundation” in 1948 are discussed and disputed in South Korea were the starting point for my research back in 2016-17. Moving beyond one-side treatments of these topics, since then, my research has focussed on the roots, causes, backgrounds and explanation of domestic South Korean disputes on history and historical memory, which by some domestic observers are termed "history wars."


In particular, the emergence and institutionalization of the so-called (South Korean) "New Right" movement in 2003/04, and tracing the roots of South Korea's intellectual, social and political polarization in his period came to form the core of my research. Furthermore, by participating in conferences aiming to place South Korean history within global history, my research interest has even further expanded to inquire into possible global dynamics of the South Korean struggles over hegemonic historical memory.

My interest in this field was sparked by inquiring into Japan's "Yasukuni Shrine controversy," as well as reading on the emergence and trajectories of far-right historical revisionism and denialism in Japan back when I was in undergraduate in Vienna. In 2015, I moved to Kyoto (Japan) on a MEXT scholarship to study contemporary history at Kyoto University under Profs. Yoko Nagahara and Toru Onozawa. Since then, I began to shift my research focus away from Japan, which has been studied on in detail, to the study of hitherto mostly unresearched mnemonic struggles in South Korea. Not so much bilateral disputes grapped my mind, rather how history remains contested within a single nation-state.


Growing up in Austria in the 1990s, I had first-hand experienced how different social groups commemorate Austria's complex history in highly different ways. Always having been interested in such discrepancies and searching for ways to explain them empirically, I ended up choosing Northeast Asia, in particular the Korean peninsula, for my scholarly inquiries.

As a historian, perhaps differing from scholars of social sciences or cultural studies, my major aim is to shed light on the structural and intellectual roots and origins of the developments analyzed, as well as to re-construct in detail, through a meticulous use of primary sources, the historical processes of the developments analyzed.

Research area


Main Publications

(2025): "Right-wing history backlash: similarities and differences in Japan and South Korea" (book chapter, working title), forthcoming.

(2024): "(Research Note): The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History, A Contested Site of Cultural Memory," European Journal of Korean Studies, forthcoming.

(2024): "Founding Father or National Traitor? Contested Memories of Syngman Rhee in Mid-1990s South Korea," Korean Studies 48, 373-420.​​

(2023): "Asymmetric Remembering in Post-Authoritarian South Korea: The Contested Cultural Memory of Liberation, Division and State Foundation, 1987–2022," PhD Thesis, Kyoto University, 741pp.

(2022): "The Anti-Chosun Movement: Journalism, Activism, Politics, and Historical Memory in Post-Authoritarian South Korea, 1998–2002," European Journal of Korean Studies 21, no. 2, pp. 111-162.

(2021): "The New Right and the 1948 Foundation View: A Failed Revision of South Korean Cultural Memory," Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies 13, 1-33.

(2020): “A Reconsideration of the New Right’s Formative Period (2003–2008): Conservative Experiences, Mass Media and Cultural Memory in Post-Authoritarian South Korea,” European Journal for Korean Studies 20, no. 1, 35–84.

(2018): “How to Place August 15 in South Korean History? The New Right, the ‘1948 Foundation’ Historical View and the 2008 Kŏn’gukchŏl Dispute”, Vienna Journal of East Asian Studies 10, 137–174.

Further publications


(2024): 「(研究ノート)現代オーストリアにおける歴史認識の対立―「オーストリア歴史館」の建設と議論を中心に:1999~2018年―」『Brücke』 26, 15-34. (= research note: Contested historical consciousness in contemporary Austria: the construction and discussions surrounding the House of Austrian History, 1999-2018).

(2020): “The Life of Francesca Donner-Rhee: A Biographical Sketch of an Austrian who Became South Korea’s First Lady.” In Andreas Schirmer, ed., Central Europeans in Korea: Alice Schalek, Alma Karlin, Fritz Hansgirg, and many others. Vienna: Praesens (Koreans and Central Europeans: Informal Contacts up to 1950; 3), 313–356.

(2020), together with Werner Koidl: “Austrians in Korea 1945–53.” In Andreas Schirmer, ed., Central Europeans in Korea: Alice Schalek, Alma Karlin, Fritz Hansgirg, and many others. Vienna: Praesens (Koreans and Central Europeans: Informal Contacts up to 1950; 3), 245–280.

(2019): 「韓国における八月十五日の位置づけをめぐる歴史認識の相克 ―いわゆる「建国史観」 の登場と二○○八年の「建国節論争」を中心に―」『朝鮮史研究会会報』214 (2019.2), 4–6.

(2019): 「大韓民国「建国」の記憶をめぐる論争―文化的記憶のヘゲモニーをめぐる対立としてのニューライト運動と韓国の「歴史戦争」―」『二十世紀研究 / Twentieth Century Studies』 20, 53–82.

(2019): "글로벌 히스토리의 맥락에서 바라본 한국의 ‘역사 전쟁’ -현대사 박물관 건립에서 보이는 오스트리아와의 유사성을 중심으로-," 4th RIKS Academy Proceedings, Korea University (Aug. 2019), 135–145.

(2017): "Der Yasukuni-Schrein als Huldigungsstätte des Militarismus: Ein kurzer Abriss der Nachkriegszeit aus innen- und außenpolitischer Sicht," Minikomi 86, 36-48.


Find (most of) my papers on my Academia page.

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