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UCLA scholar to present lecture on past East Asian politics

October 21, 2009

John Duncan, professor and director of the Center for Korean Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, is this year's Robert C. Staley Distinguished Visiting Professor in East Asian Studies. He will present a free public lecture at 7 p.m., Nov. 4, at Arizona State University's Tempe campus.

The title of his talk is "History Wars in East Asia: The Politics of the Past." The lecture will be presented in the Global Institute of Sustainability building, Lecture Room 101, at the southwest corner of University Drive and College Avenue.

Duncan's teaching and research interests are in pre-modern Korea, exploring such questions as the extent and nature of Confucian orthodoxy and pre-modern collective identities as building blocks for modern nationalism.

At UCLA, Duncan's work is in intellectual and cultural history. His earlier career focused on social and political history. He is associate editor of the Journal of Northeast Asian History and on the editorial boards of several academic journals in Korea and the U.S.

Born and raised in Arizona, Duncan's interest in Korean society and culture, and his devotion to the study of the Korean language began at age 19 when the U.S. Army sent him to Korea.

Duncan focused his education on Korean history, earning a bachelor's degree from Korea University in Seoul, a master's degree from the University of Hawaii and a doctorate from the University of Washington.

Past Robert C. Staley Distinguished Visiting Professors in East Asian Studies include Peter Perdue from Harvard University; Richard Baum from UCLA; Bruce Cumings from University of Chicago; and John Dower from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Additional information about the lecture is available from the Center for Asian Research in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at or (480) 965-7184.

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