Department of Asian Studies
Department of Asian Studies

Zachary Adamz

B.S. Geography, Brigham Young University; M.A. Geography, University of Kansas

PhD Candidate, Asian Cultures & Languages



Korean Studies; Migration and Diaspora Studies; Geographies of Territorialization and Nationalism; Tourism and Museology


Dissertation: My current research focuses on the Korean diaspora group in the former Soviet Union, known as the 'Koryo saram'.  My work examines the processes of Soviet Korean identity formation, and implications of South Korean tourism among Soviet Korean historic sites in the Russian Far East.

Research Interests: Soviet Korean Diaspora (Koryo saram); History of Northeast Asia; Migration and Diaspora Studies; Borders and Boundaries; History of the Korean Peninsula; Global Korean Diaspora; Geographies of Nationalism & Transnationalism; Globalization; Spaces of Memory; Processes/Consequences of Territorialization; Geographies of Citizenship, Ethnicity, and Belonging; Tourism and Museology

Regional /Area Studies Foci:  Northeast Asia; Korean Peninsula; former Soviet Union; Central Asia


ANS 301M • Nation-State In East Asia-Wb

32634 • Spring 2021
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM
Internet; Synchronous

How has nationalism continued to matter in modern and contemporary East Asia? What factors have been behind territorial disputes, border conflicts, and other contests for control over land and peoples?

Despite the so-called flattening of the world, the nation-state remains vital to understanding it. This course focuses on nationalism, ethnicity, and state-building policies in East Asia: China/Taiwan, Japan, and the Koreas. The content will examine effects of nationalism on contemporary and historical political identities, state formation, definitions of citizenship, and migration policies. The course focuses on nation- and state-building policies East Asian nation-states have pursued over the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries in their efforts to make the boundaries of the nation coincide with borders of the state. The coursework will provide an understanding of the most prominent explanations of the formation of the nation-state, emergence of nationalism, and background knowledge with which to evaluate these developments. Discussions will highlight key events and periods (e.g., Meiji Restoration, Great Leap Forward, Park Chung-Hee Era, British return of Hong Kong to China, etc.) to highlight the importance of sovereignty in understanding regional society, culture, politics, and economics, as well as define and confront terms such as: state, nation, nationalism, patriotism, minorities, diasporas, identity, and ethnicity.


  • Participation/attendance: 10%
  • Response Papers (select readings): 30%
  • Oral (Virtual) Presentation:10%
  • Online Discussion/Current Events Postings: 15%
  • Midterm Exam: 15%
  • Final Exam:20%

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