Dr. Sandra Park's Profile Picture
(520) 621-5619
LSB 113
Office Hours
Fall 2023: Tuesdays 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Sign up here:
Park, Sandra H.
Assistant Professor

Sandra Park is a historian of modern Korea, US empire in East Asia, and religion and the Cold War. Her current book project, titled Anointed Citizenship: Christianity, Border Crossing, and US Empire in the Korean War, examines the politics of Christian rescue and conversion in the passage of North Koreans into "Free" South Korea—and their transformation from the enemy to good citizens-to-be—at the crossroads of Cold War nation-building and empire-making. An exploration of the moral politics of Christianity and political belonging, Park's research shows that the violent conditions of the Korean War (re)defined the place of religion in modern political life for both Koreans and Americans. Park's previous work on religion and socialist secularization in revolutionary North Korea appeared in the Journal of Korean Studies, and for her second book project, she is interested in exploring the coherence of religious freedom as a distinct category in the context of divided, Cold War Korea. 

At the University of Arizona, Dr. Park teaches courses on modern and contemporary Korea, religion and politics in Korea and East Asia, and East Asian history, culture, and society. 

Before joining the University of Arizona, Sandra Park was a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Institute for Korean Studies at George Washington University. She holds a PhD in History from the University of Chicago, where she also received an MA and BA. As a first-generation and Asian American scholar, she is committed to inclusive, accessible teaching and mentoring students from marginalized backgrounds.




"A Reverend on Trial: Debating the Proper Place of Christianity in the North Korean Revolution," Journal of Korean Studies 25, no. 2 (2020): 379–405.


Web Essays:

"Bound by Freedom: Oh Chong Song's Escape and the Mirage of "Free" Korea," Not From Here: Immigration and Ethnic History Society Blog, June 10, 2021.

"Christianity, Citizenship, and American Empire in the Korean War," American Religion Online Supplements, February 17, 2021.

"Finding the Taejon Massacre in Independence, Missouri," #AsiaNow (Association for Asian Studies Blog), March 24, 2020.


Currently Teaching

EAS 384 – Religion and Conflict in East Asia: Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives

This course examines sociological issues related to the political relationship among East Asian countries, especially during the colonial era (late 19th to the mid- 20th century) within the context of religious ideologies such as Shinto, Confucianism, Christianity, and Buddhism. Religion can be a powerful tool for controlling people, and Japan's colonial movement on Asia beginning in the end of 19th century was no exception. Japan constructed a variety of ideologies based on religious concepts in order to legitimate its imperialist project. Students will learn Japan's political strategy for accomplishing such a process and how Chinese and Korean people and institutions reacted to the challenge they faced in this complex cultural and sociological interaction. All readings are in English.

KOR 251 – Introduction to Korea through Films

This course offers a thematic introduction to Korea using film as a window to Korean society. Korea has experienced a compressed modernity in reaction to complex international dynamics, which include colonialism, the Cold War, and globalization. Its rich historical and social particularities have been a valuable source for cultural products such as film production. Film enables us to see beyond our own experiences and reflect on our world and other people's lives through various aesthetic mediations. Through the medium of film, students will be able to learn about the country through vivid imagery. This course will also allow students to understand important issues related to class, gender, capitalism, and democracy that our contemporary world is facing using Korean films to illustrate these key concerns.