My research explores the social, cultural, and technological history of mobility in twentieth century Japan and the Japanese Empire. I am currently at work on a history of travel and the spatial politics of the Japanese Empire. Other aspects of my research consider the history of transportation technologies and social thought in the twentieth century. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on modern and recent Japanese history, the history of empire, and critical global history.
Research and Teaching Interests:
• Mobility and Society in Twentieth-Century Japan
• Critical Geography and Modern Empire in Asia and the Pacific
• The Rickshaw and the Railroad
I’m revisiting the history of mobility in modern Japan through its forgotten technologies — rickshaws, human-powered railways, and feet.
• Bodies and Structures: Deep-Mapping the Spaces of Japanese History
In collaboration with David R. Ambaras (History, NCSU), this multi-year project brings together scholars of early modern and modern Japan and East Asia to interrogate the spatial history of Japan from the seventeenth to the twenty-first centuries. Our aim is to create a digital platform through which scholars can study the spaces of Japanese history as multilayered and embodied historical experiences without reifying any one spatial narrative or perspective.
• Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, forthcoming)
• “Speaking Japanese: Language and the Expectation of Empire,” in The Affect of Difference: Representations of Race in the Japanese Empire, ed. Christopher P. Hanscom and Dennis Washburn, 159-179 (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2016)
• Mobility in History: The Yearbook of the International Association of the History of Transport, Traffic, and Mobility 7 (New York: Berghahn Journals, 2016). Editor, “Modern Mobilities: Asia.”
• “Asymmetrical Integration: Lessons from a Railway Empire,” Technology and Culture 56, no. 1 (2015): 115-149.
• “Imperial Mobility: Circulation as History in East Asia under Empire,” Transfers 4, no. 3 (2014): 68-87.
• “Intermodality and Beyond: Toward a New History of Mobility in Japan,” Mobility in History 5 (2014): 161-169.
• “Ryôdo, rekishi, aidentitii: Sen-Man kankô to dai Nihon teikoku no keisei” (History, territory, identity: Sen-Man tourism and the making of the Japanese empire), Contact Zone no. 5 (2012): 1-18.
Honors and Professional Activities:
• Hellman Fellowship, 2013-2014
• Regents’ Junior Faculty Fellowship, 2013-2014
• Fulbright (Japan-US Educational Commission), 2008-2009