My scholarly interest aims to understand the ways in which the imagination of technology, defense and the Other, especially in times of crisis, influence society’s conceptualization of security. Addressing these subjects and themes, my dissertation “Rising Sun Over America: Imagining a Japanese Conquest of the United States, 1900-1945” examines the prevalent fear of a Japanese invasion of the U. S. in the early twentieth century and the effect this anxiety had on international relations, domestic politics, and popular culture. A portion of this research will be published as a chapter in “Techno-Orientalism: Imagining Asia in Speculative Fiction, History, and Media,” a collective work forthcoming in spring 2015 from Rutgers University Press.
My interest in how geospatial imagination and emergent technologies have shaped society’s security consciousness led me to my next book-length research project, a cultural history of drones. I see interesting links between the contemporary investment in and simultaneous unease over drone warfare and much earlier contemplations of unmanned vehicles and weapons in the late nineteenth and throughout the twentieth century—periods under-investigated by most histories of drones.
My other areas of interest include:
- film history: early television, early German cinema, film noir, safety films, 1970s cinema, independent film making
- consumer culture
- history of imperialism and immigration
- Cold War culture
- 1960s and 1970s social and protest movements
- thrift stores