Eilin Rafael Perez is a historian of modern Korea specializing in cultures of diplomacy and decolonization in the Cold War. Dr. Perez joins Yale as a Postdoctoral Associate in History with an emphasis in Public Humanities. He completed a PhD in History at the University of Chicago in 2022 after receiving a BA in Asian Studies and History with honors from Williams College.
Dr. Perez’s book project, The Half-Life of Sovereignty: North Korea and Solidarity Movements of the Decolonizing World, 1958-1976, considers histories of cultural production that emerged out of engagement between North Korea and South-South solidarity movements. The project reconsiders traditional Area Studies boundaries by highlighting the networks of information exchange and dissemination developed among anti-imperialist actors during the Cold War. Dr. Perez conducted archival research for this project in Korea, Cuba, Chile, Australia, and in several locations throughout the United States.
Dr. Perez’s teaching and research as a historian is enlivened by the Public Humanities field, reflecting a commitment to the coproduction of knowledge across experiential and disciplinary bounds. His work building relationships and managing projects with practitioners in museums, archives, and libraries continues to shape his approach towards centering accessible, critically-informed historical inquiry. Dr. Perez holds a Teaching Certificate with an emphasis in Writing Pedagogy from the Chicago Center for Teaching and has led workshops on antiracist pedagogical practice. He is committed to mentoring students from underrepresented backgrounds, and to expanding access to educational opportunities to nontraditional students.
His research has been generously supported by the CLIR/Mellon Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Original Sources; several Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships; by the Korea Foundation/Association for Asian Studies; and by the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. He is also a Junior Fellow of the Mellon Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography at the Rare Book School.