Department: History

Areas of expertise:

  • Korea/North Korea
  • East Asia
  • Comparative Education
  • Economic Development 
  • World History 

Michael Seth is a professor of history at James Madison University where he has taught courses on Korea, Asia and world history since 1998.  His research is on Korean history, including South Korea’s educational and economic development, and on North Korea. He has also done research on states with limited recognition.  

His publications include: Education Fever: Society, Politics and the Pursuit of Schooling in South Korea (2002), A Concise History of Korea (Second edition 2016), and North Korea: A History (2018). He is the editor of the Routledge Handbook of Modern Korean History (2016) and co-editor of A History of Korean Education(2015).  Outside of JMU Seth has worked with international human rights organizations, and as a consultant on educational development projects.

He has a doctorate in history from the University of Hawaii. Before coming to JMU he lived and worked in Africa and in East Asia for fourteen years. 


Media contact: Eric Gorton,

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