East Asia

Our department invites applications from students interested in conducting research on the history of modern Japan, early modern China, modern China, and transnational East Asia. Faculty in this concentration focus on social and cultural history, and have specific expertise in empire and decolonization; borderlands and frontiers; migration, diaspora, and identity; history and memory; military cultures; local history; and transnational history.

In broad terms, faculty share an interest in how people negotiate state institutions, geographical mobility, and social identities. Students in this concentration are expected to use Asian languages in their research and are encouraged to combine the study of East Asian history with training in supporting fields such as early modern Europe, the Islamic world, South Asian history, and the history of imperialism, migration, and decolonization.

Students also have the opportunity to work with faculty in Anthropology (which has particular expertise in China, Tibet, and Central Asia), East Asian Languages and Cultures, and International and Area Studies. Resources include language training in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, as well as the university’s East Asian Library, staffed by librarians specializing in East Asian historical materials. Applicants in Chinese and/or Japanese history are eligible for the Soviak Fellowship.

Core Faculty

Zhao Ma
Steven B. Miles
Lori Watt