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Ph.D., University of California San Diego, 2011
Office: HSSB 4221 Spring 2015 Hours:
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 project that examines how the modern transportation network shaped what Japanese travelers saw and learned about the Japanese Empire in the 1910s-1930s. Other aspects of this research have led me to consider the relationship between concepts of place, empire, and globalization; the history of transportation technologies and networks; and the historiography of mobility in scholarship on the modern "non-West." I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on modern and recent Japanese history, the history of empire in the Pacific, and critical global history.
Research and Teaching Interests
- The History of Mobility
Trains! Rickshaws! Bicycles! Feet!
- Modern Empire in Asia and the Pacific
- Critical Geography and the Politics of Place
- Placing Empire: Travel and the Social Imagination in Imperial Japan
I examine how Japanese travelers created an imperial social imaginary through encounters with history, culture, and language in Korea, Manchuria, and Taiwan.
- 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.
- Renrakusen: Transportation and the Tensions of Empire
This short monograph explores the conflicts that transportation produced in the context of the Japanese Empire. I focus on encounters on the iconic "Shimonoseki-Pusan Connecting Ferry," which was one of the central routes for labor migrants and travelers.
- "Speaking Japanese: Language and the Expectation of Empire"
In Christopher Hanscom and Dennis Washburn, ed., The Affect of Difference: Representations of Race in East Asian Empire (Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, forthcoming), pages TBD.
- "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: For a New History of Mobility in Japan"
Mobility in History 5 (2014): 161-169.
- "Ryôdo, rekishi, aidentitii: Sen-Man kankô to Nihon teikoku no keisei"
(Territory, history, identity: Korea-Manchuria tourism and the making of the Japanese Empire), Contact Zone, no. 5 (2012): 1-18.
McDonald Contact Zone.pdf
Undergraduate and Graduate Courses
- HIST 87: Japanese History through Art and Literature
- HIST 187B: Modern Japan
- HIST 187C: Recent Japan
- HIST 187DR: Directed Readings in the History of the Japanese Empire
- HIST 201AS: Advanced Historical Literature (Asia)
Topics: "Critical Global Histories" and "History and Representation"
- HIST/JAPAN 287J: Reinventing "Japan" Colloquium
An interdisciplinary, three-quarter colloquia open to faculty and graduate students working in Japan Studies
Honors and Professional Activities
- UC Japanese Arts and Globalization Research Group
- American Historical Association
- Association for Asian Studies
- Society for the History of Technology