February 23, 2018: Dr. Tristan Grunow (University of British Columbia) was kind enough to interview me for his “Meiji at 150” podcast series. Listen to the podcast here.
My research explores the social, cultural, and technological history of mobility in twentieth century Japan and the Japanese Empire. 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: Human-Powered Transport in the Age of the Machine
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.
• People-Works: The Labor of Transport
I’m curating a special exhibit on the labor of transport for the Mobility in History Blog. The exhibit will open online in November 2018.
Books and Edited Volumes:
• Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017)
— Open Access! Read now at luminosoa.org.
— Watch a short interview with Prof. McDonald about the book here.
• 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.”
• “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).
• “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.
— Read the capsule version at the Mobility in History Blog.
• “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