Kevin Y. Kim

Kevin Kim headshot

Research Associate

B.A., English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
M.A., Ph.D., History, Stanford University

Office: Husky Hall 1412
Phone: 425-352-5001
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246


My teaching is driven by an earnest recognition and respect for academic learning’s immense intellectual and practical stakes. To read, write, listen and speak in higher education is to learn how to read, write, listen and speak for broader audiences in academia, the media, business, law, civic forums, and national and international affairs. History and related disciplines negotiate my own and my students’ personal and professional lives. As a historian, I encourage my students to grapple with the past and present as complex, fascinating aspects of the perennial task of understanding ourselves, the people and world around us, and the tangled, contingent nature of the forces shaping us all. Acquiring specific skills in critical thinking and analysis, reading and writing, research methods and oral presentation, is crucial; but ultimately, academic learning fulfills its highest promises insofar as it impels students into their own self-guided pursuits far beyond the classroom.

Teaching American history and historically informed approaches to international relations, economics, and public policy, I encourage students to push past history’s popular image as rote memorization or storytelling toward wider, enlivening interpretations of the underlying social change and context at work in every historical and contemporary “fact.” Temporality, context, and contingency, my students learn, are not incidental, but central, to human experience. They are invaluable and central to formulating clear, vital questions; engaging in analytical, evidence-based reasoning; contesting as well as collaborating with others; and nurturing a burgeoning, authoritative sense of our lives, ideas, and identities as the products of forces—past and present—one continually strives to comprehend as neither as monolithic nor overpowering as they once seemed.

Specifically, my teaching interests, drawing from my broader research interests, include U.S. in the World and twentieth-century U.S. history; U.S. foreign policy and domestic political movements; and international economics, American capitalism, and U.S.-Asia relations. I have previously taught at Vanderbilt University and Stanford University, where I received the School of Humanities and Sciences dean’s Centennial Award for distinguished teaching of undergraduate and graduate students.

Recent Courses Taught

U.S. in the World Since 1865
U.S.-Asia Relations
History of American Capitalism


Kevin Y. Kim is a historian of modern U.S. history and international affairs, focusing on domestic and global U.S. politics, economics, and public affairs, particularly in the United States and Pacific Rim. In his research, he is broadly interested in the domestic and global intersections of political, cultural, and economic actors and forces in the making of the modern U.S. state and society, and its key postwar global counterparts. His current book project, Worlds Unseen: Henry Wallace and Herbert Hoover’s Anti-“Consensus” Diplomacies and the Making of Cold War America, was a finalist for the 2013 Allan Nevins prize from the Society of American Historians. Worlds Unseen challenges and enriches prevailing views of the global Cold War by exploring the political ideas and activities of its most prominent liberal and conservative U.S. dissenters, former U.S. vice president Henry Wallace and U.S. president Herbert Hoover, as well as their supporters in business, government, and civic circles in the United States and other nations. He recently delivered a public lecture on this work as the American Historical Association’s J. Franklin Jameson fellow at the Library of Congress, in addition to an interview on C-SPAN’s American History TV. His other research interests include the role of transpacific immigration networks and lobbies in World War II and postwar U.S. politics and policy, and the rise of U.S. multinational finance and industry.

In support of his work, Kim has received fellowships from the American Historical Association, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, Harry S. Truman Library Institute, NYU Center for the United States and the Cold War, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, and Harvard University's Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, where he was a faculty fellow in the 2018-19 academic year. Besides his academic work, which has appeared or is forthcoming from the Journal of American History, Journal of American-East Asian Relations, and Amerasia Journal, Kim writes frequently on public and international affairs and culture, including such publications as The Nation, The Progressive, The Village Voice, Far Eastern Economic Review, and South China Morning Post.

Selected Publications

Against the ‘American Century,’ Toward a Third World New Left: The Case of Helen Mears.” Diplomatic History 43 (January 2019): 130–56.

From Century of the Common Man to Yellow Peril: Anti-Racism, Empire, and U.S. Global Power in Henry A. Wallace’s Quest for Cold War Alternatives.” Pacific Historical Review 87 (Summer 2018): 405–38.

Empire, War, Globalization, and Korean America in Global and Transnational Perspectives,” in Companion to Korean American Studies, ed. Rachael Miyung Joo and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee (Leiden: Brill, 2018), 47–76.