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Elijah Bender


"It is important to draw wisdom from many different sources. Otherwise, it becomes rigid and stale."

"Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here."
-Maynard James Keenan

"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men."
-Roald Dahl

"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes

"When we reach our lowest point, we are open to the greatest change."
-Avatar Aang


PhD Candidate
BA Missouri State (2005), MA University of Hawaii-Manoa (2008)

Office: HSSB 3220

Advisor: Luke Roberts

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I study premodern Japan from an environmental perspective. My dissertation is a regional history of Kai province, located in central eastern Japan, in the sixteenth century. (more...)

Dissertation Title

  • "Wind, Forest, Fire, and Mountain: The Evolution of Resource Disputes and Local Society in a Japanese Province, 1450-1650"

Teaching Fields

  • Japan
  • East Asia
  • World

Courses Taught

  • History 187S: The Samurai
    A detailed examination of Japan's profressional military class, with emphasis upon their economic and social evolution from roughly 500 to 1850.

Teaching Assistantships

  • History 80: East Asian Civilization
    A survey of the major historical developments in East Asia from the earliest times to the present.
  • History 87: Japanese History through Art and Literature
    A survey of Japanese history from prehistory to recent times with an emphasis upon artifacts and writing.
  • History 2A: World History to 1000
    First section of world history which focuses upon origins and travel.
  • History 2B: World History 1000-1800
    The middle section of world history focusing primarily upon economic and technological contacts.
  • History 2C: World History 1800 to the Present
    The final chapter of world history, with emphasis upon migration and interconnectedness.


  • Fulbright IIE Graduate Research Fellowship, 2014-2015
  • UCSB History Associates Graduate Student Summer Fellowship, 2013
  • UCSB History Associates Williams Award, summer 2013
  • Japan Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship, spring 2012, 2013
  • UC Regents Special Fellowship, 2010-2015

Conference Papers

  • "A Farewell to Armies: Creating Stable Patterns of Resource Access in Early Modern Japan, 1500-1700"
    Presented at San Francisco State University History Students Association Conference "Violence, Coercion, Terror, and the State," April 2014.
  • “Christians, Class, and the Closed Country: Japan’s anti-Christian Policies, Public Reactions, and Political Effects, 1543-1640.”
    Presented at the Western Association of Asian Studies regional conference in Ogen, Utah, October, 2006.

MA Thesis

  • "The Last Man Standing: Examining Daimyo Survival in Sixteenth Century Japan.”