Yumi Moon joined the department of history in 2006 after completing her dissertation on the last phase of Korean reformist movements and the Japanese colonization of Korea between 1896 and 1910. In her dissertation, Moon revisited the identity of the pro-Japanese collaborators, Ilchinhoe, and highlighted the tension the tensions between their populist orientation and the state-centered approach of the Japanese colonizers. Examining the Ilchinhoe's reformist orientation and their dissolution by the Japanese authority led her to question what it meant to be collaborators during the period and what their tragic history tells us about empire as a political entity. Moon is currently working on a book manuscript centered on the theme of collaboration and empire, notably in relation to the recent revisionist assessments of empire. Her next research will extern to the colonial period of Korea after the annexation and will examine what constituted colonial modernity in people's everyday lives and whether the particulars of modernity were different in colonial and non-colonial situations. To explore these questions, Moon plans to look at the history of movie theaters in East Asian from 1890-1945, a subject which will allow her to study the interactions between the colonial authority, capitalists and consumers, as well as to look at the circulation of movies as consumed texts.
Moon received a BA and an MA in political science from Seoul National University, and a PhD in history and East Asian languages from Harvard University.