Bruce Cumings's research and teaching focus on modern Korean history, twentieth-century international history, US–East Asian relations, East Asian political economy,and American foreign relations. His first book, The Origins of the Korean War, won the John King Fairbank Book Award of the American Historical Association, and the second volume of this study won the Quincy Wright Book Award of the International Studies Association. He is the editor of the modern volume of the Cambridge History of Korea (forthcoming), and is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books, the Nation, Current History, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and Le Monde Diplomatique. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999 and is the recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, NEH, the MacArthur Foundation, the Center for Advanced Study at Stanford, and the Abe Fellowship Program of the Social Science Research Council.
He was also the principal historical consultant for the Thames Television/PBS 6-hour documentary, Korea: The Unknown War. In 2003 he won the University of Chicago's award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching, and in 2007 he won the Kim Dae Jung Prize for Scholarly Contributions to Democracy, Human Rights and Peace. He has just completed Dominion From Sea to Sea: Pacific Ascendancy and American Power, which will be published by Yale University Press. He is working on a synoptic single-volume study of the origins of the Korean War, and a book on the Northeast Asian political economy.