Bruce Cumings, a leading U.S. expert on North Korea and East Asia and a Professor at the University of Chicago

Bruce Cumings
Professor, University of Chicago
Professor of International History and East Asian Political Economy, University of Chicago

1943 - Born in Rochester, New York
1965 - Graduates in Psychology, Denison University
1967 - Serves in U.S. Peace Corps, stationed in Seoul
1967 - Receives Masters, Indiana University
1975 - Receives PhD in Political Science, Columbia University
1975 - Assistant Professor in Political Science, Swarthmore College
1977 - Professor of International Studies, Washington University
1987 - Professor of East Asian and International History, Chicago University
1994 - Professor of International History and Politics, Northwestern University and Director, Centre for International and Comparative Studies
1997 - Professor of International History and East Asian Political Economy and Member, Committee on International Relations, Chicago University
1999 - Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
 
The Chicago University historian, Bruce Cumings, is a leading, left-wing scholar of Korean history. In addition to contributing to documentaries on Korean life, Professor Cumings has written a large and highly critical, multi-volume account of the Korean War and published a general history of Korea. His research and teaching focuses on 20th century international history, U.S./East Asian relations, East Asian political economy, modern Korean history and American foreign relations. In his younger years, Professor Cumings was a Peace Corps volunteer in South Korea. He was a founding member of the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars and was published extensively in its in-house journal. His father carried out research for the Central Intelligence Agency. Professor Cumings has been characterised by some as having a left-wing perspective. In his latest work, as someone who has sparked more controversy than any other specialist on Korea, he expands his provocative, contrary perspective on the entire Asia-Pacific region and particularly the United State's view of East Asia. The message in the Professors metaphor of parallax vision is: No one is as blind as he who will not see. The theory behind this is how we actually see others, tells us more about ourselves, than them.
 
North Korea has recently made the headlines after announcing its withdrawal from the nuclear programme. The six-nation talks should secure these intentions. Does the international community have grounds to believe North Korea this time around? And how predictable are Kim Jong-il's policies? Bruce Cumings, a leading U.S. expert on North Korea and East Asia and a Professor at the University of Chicago, is on Spotlight to tell us more.