Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode


Apr 7, 2021

We talk a lot about the ghost type of spirits on the show, but what about the liquor kind of spirits? We’re joined by Dr. Hyunhee Park to talk about the global history of the distinctive Korean drink: Soju. Hint: It all comes back to the Mongols. 


Content Warning: This episode contains conversations about or mentions of colonialism, conquest and war, disease/illness, and wealth disparity. 



Hyunhee Park is an Associate Professor of History at the City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and CUNY Graduate Center and author of Soju: A Global History. A native of South Korea, she received her BA in Asian and Western history at Seoul National University in 1997, her MA in East Asian Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2003, and her Ph.D. in history at Yale University in 2008. She specializes in the history of cross-cultural contacts in East Asia, Islamic World, the Mongol Empire, and global intellectual history focusing on information/knowledge transfers including geographical knowledge, foodways, and distillation. 



- Recommendation: This week, Julia recommends All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders.

- Books: Check out our previous book recommendations, guests’ books, and more at

- Call to Action: Check out our merch at, including the expansion for our coloring book!   



- Doordash is a fast, convenient food delivery app. Get 25% off and zero delivery fees on your first order of $15 or more when you download the DoorDash app and enter code creepycool. 

- Skillshare is an online learning community where you can learn—and teach—just about anything. Explore your creativity at and get a two week free trial of Premium Membership. This week Julia recommends 

- Brooklinen delivers luxury bed sheets, pillows, comforters, & blankets straight to your door. Go to right now and use promo code “spirits” to get $25 off when you spend $100 or more, PLUS free shipping.


Find Us Online

If you like Spirits, help us grow by spreading the word! Follow us @SpiritsPodcast on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads. You can support us on Patreon ( to unlock bonus Your Urban Legends episodes, director’s commentaries, custom recipe cards, and so much more. We also have lists of our book recommendations and previous guests’ books at

Transcripts are available at To buy merch, hear us on other podcasts, contact us, find our mailing address, or download our press kit, head on over to


About Us

Spirits was created by Julia Schifini, Amanda McLoughlin and Eric Schneider. We are founding members of Multitude, an independent podcast collective and production studio. Our music is "Danger Storm" by Kevin MacLeod (, licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0.