Past Event

Japan's Borderless Empire: A Roundtable on Eiichiro Azuma's In Search of Our Frontier

March 24, 2023
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
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In person at WEAI, 420 W 118th Street, Room 918 in the International Affairs building, and online

This roundtable discussion will center on Eiichiro Azuma’s In Search of Our Frontier: Japanese America and Settler Colonialism in the Construction of Japan's Borderless Empire (UC Press, 2019), which was recently translated into Japanese by Mariko Iijima. Professors Azuma and Iijima, David Ambaras, and Martin Dusinberre will discuss what the book’s reception shows about the state of global Japanese studies in the US and Japan. They will address such questions as: To what extent are research agendas within English - and Japanese - language scholarship converging, and what can the two communities learn from each other?

Eiichiro Azuma is Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He specializes in Asian American history and transpacific history, with an emphasis on Japanese American experience, migration, diaspora and settler colonialism, as well as US and Japanese imperialism and US-Japan relations. He holds an MA in Asian American Studies (1992) and a PhD in history (2000), both from University of California at Los Angeles.  His book In Search of Our Frontier: Japanese America and Settler Colonialism in the Construction of Japan’s Borderless Empire received the John K. Fairbank Prize in East Asian History from the American Historical Association. Professor Azuma also authored Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America (Oxford University Press, 2005), which won the Theodore Saloutos Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the Honorable Mention in the Frederick Jackson Turner Award by the Organization of American Historians (OAH), and the History Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies, as well as the Hiroshi Shimizu Book Prize from the Japanese Association of American Studies. 

Mariko Iijima is Professor of Global History and Immigration Studies in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Sophia University. Her research focuses on the movement of people (mainly Japanese immigrants), goods (coffee, sugar), and knowledge in the Pacific Rim region. She has a BA in Foreign Studies from Sophia University, an M.Phil. in Modern History from the University of Oxford, and a D.Phil. in Modern History, also from the University of Oxford.

David Ambaras is Professor of History at North Carolina State University, where he has taught since 1998. His research explores the social history of Japan and its world, particularly through a focus on mobility, marginality, and transgression. He is currently researching the intertwined histories of ports, shipping, dockworkers, and seafarers from roughly the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, a critical transitional moment in the history of postwar Japan, global capitalism, maritime transport, and the geopolitics of the Asia-Pacific shaped by the Cold War, decolonization, and the legacies of Japanese imperialism. He has a BA in Religion from Columbia, an MA in Area Studies from the University of Tokyo, and an MA and PhD in History from Princeton.

Martin Dusinberre is Professor and Chair for Global History (18th to 20th centuries, with a focus on Asia) at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Before attaining this position in 2015, he was a lecturer in Modern Japanese History at Newcastle University and a postdoctoral researcher at Heidelberg University. His upcoming book is Mooring the Global Archive: A Japanese Ship and its Migrant Histories (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). He has a BA, MA, and D.Phil in History from the University of Oxford, and an MA in Japanese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 


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Contact Information

Sarah Jessup