Research Interests: Modern U.S. History, especially in the areas of immigration and U.S. foreign relations.  

Kornel Chang is Associate Professor and Chair of the History Department at Rutgers University-Newark. He is a scholar of U.S. immigration and labor history, borderland and transnational studies, and the United States in the world. His newest book, A Fractured Liberation: Korea under U.S. Occupation, which reframes the occupation years of 1945-1948 as a moment of emancipatory possibilities and challenges, is forthcoming from Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.


Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2007.

Courses Taught

Asian American History

U.S. Immigration History

The United States in the World


Co-investigator, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grant, Award $225,000, to support Sawyer Seminar on "Natives and Nativists, Migrants and Immigrants in an American City," 2020-2021

Humanities Institute Fellowship, University of Connecticut, 2019-2020

Charles A. Ryskamp Research Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2014-2015

Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence, Rutgers, State University of New Jersey (Tenure with Distinction), 2013-2014

Visiting Scholar Fellowship, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2013-2014

Fellow, Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History, Harvard University, 2011-2012

Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Postdoctoral Fellow, MacMillian Center for International and Areas Studies, Yale University 2008-2010

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Social Science Dissertation-Year Fellowship, 2005-2006



A Fractured Liberation: Korea under U.S. Occupation (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Forthcoming)

Pacific Connections: The Making of the U.S.-Canadian Borderlands (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012)

·      2014 Winner of Association of Asian American Studies Book Prize in History

·      2013 Runner-Up Finalist, John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for Best-Published Book in American Studies

Articles and Chapters

"Independence without Liberation: Democratization as Decolonization Management in U.S.-Occupied Korea, 1945-1948," Journal fo American History 107:1 (June 2020): 77-106.

·      2021 Winner of Binkley-Stephenson Award from the Organization of American Historians for the best article that appeared in the Journal of American History during the preceding calender year.

"Contesting Independence: The Decolonization of Korean Labor under U.S. Occupation," LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas No. 3-4 (Sept 2016): 153-175.

"Reassessing Asian Exclusion in the United States," in Oxford Handbook of Asian American History, Eiichiro Azuma and David Yoo, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). 

“Coolie” in Keywords for Asian American Studies, Linda Trinh Vo, K. Scott Wong, and Cathy Schlund-Vials, eds. (New York: New York University Press, 2015).

“Mobilizing Revolutionary Manhood: Race, Gender, and Resistance in the Pacific Northwest Borderlands” in The Rising Tide of Color: Race, State Violence, and Radical Movements across the Pacific  Moon-Ho Jung, ed. (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2014).

“Muted Reception: U.S. Propaganda and the Construction of Mexican Popular Opinion During the Second World War,” Diplomatic History 38:3 (June 2014): 569-598.

“Circulating Race and Empire: Transnational Labor Activism and the Politics of Anti-Asian Agitation in the Anglo-American Pacific World, 1880-1910,” Journal of American History 96:3 (Dec. 2009): 678-701.

“Enforcing Transnational White Solidarity: Asian Migration and the Formation of the U.S.-Canadian Boundary.” American Quarterly 60:3 (Sep., 2008): 671-696. Reprined in Major Problems of Asian American History: Documents and Essays, 2nd Edition, edited by Lon Kurashige and Alice Yang Murray (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2016).