Phone: (812) 855-2454
Office: Goodbody Hall, Room 332
Office Hours: TBA
• Ph.D. at Columbia University, 2000
• M.A. at Yale University, 1992
I consider myself to be a historian of the modern era first and a historian of Japan second. I am motivated in both my research and teaching by the desire to work against exceptionalist views of Japanese history, whether praising or damning, and to place Japanese experience squarely within the broader transnational history of modernity. I believe that historical invocations by Japanese of various brands of national exceptionalism should be seen not so much as evidence of actual deviation from some putatively normal modern trajectory (usually labeled "western"), but as themselves part of the very vocabulary of modern modes of expression. My current research examines the intellectual history of Japanese capitalism in the twentieth century. I explore the ways changing modes of economic knowledge shaped conceptions of the modern nation and were mobilized in the service of cultural ideologies of national power. I am specifically interested in the legitimation over the last century of the concept of high economic growth and of mass consumption lifestyles. My work tells a history of the ideal of never-ending growth and, as such, hopefully contributes in its own way to the field of environmental history and to attempts to reconceive economies in terms of sustainable alternatives to growthist paradigms. I am currently developing courses that help students explore the history of state violence and war and the alternatives to these offered by activists from a variety of perspectives. One such class that will include these topics will be a history of the modern era through the lens of Hiroshima as both city and event.