Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Boston College
Website URL
historical memory, public culture, social movements, thinking history globally, legacies of World War II in Asia, postwar Japan, East Asian relations, Japan-Germany comparisons
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I grew up in Germany, spent two years working and traveling in Japan, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia after high school, and then went to UC Berkeley to make sense of my experiences as I earned a college degree in Asian Studies. The year 1989–the death of the Showa Emperor, the Tiananmen Massacre, the fall of the Berlin Wall–and the mentorship of incredibly strong and impressive female Asianists at Berkeley made me decide on a career in history. I went on to get a Ph.D. in modern Japanese history at Columbia University, where I was blissfully insulated from the bizarre idea that ‘women don’t know about history’ by my advisor Carol Gluck, who stands head and shoulders above most in our field. Her mentorship, and that of other female powerhouse intellects, have shaped who I am as a historian, and I aspire to mentor my students likewise. I have taught in the History Department at Boston College since 2001 and direct the Asian Studies program.

Recent Publications

Monograph: War Memory and Social Politics in Japan, 1945-2005 (Harvard, 2006)

Recent articles:

“A Japan that Cannot Say ‘Sorry’?” in Mischa Gabowitsch, ed. Replicating Atonement: Foreign Models in the Commemoration of Atrocities. Palgrave Macmillan Memory Studies. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

“Carceral Geographies of Japan’s Vanishing Empire: War Criminals Prisons in Asia” in Barak Kushner, ed. The Dismantling of the Japanese Empire in East Asia: Deimperialization, Postwar Legitimacy, and Imperial Afterlife. Routledge, 2016.

“A ‘Penologic Program’ for Japanese and German War Criminals after World War II” in Joanne Cho, Lee Roberts, and Christian Spang, eds. Transnational Encounters Between Germany and Japan: Perceptions of Partnership in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, Palgrave, 2016.

“The Hanaoka Massacre”—a story in woodcuts of wartime forced labor and postwar memory in Japan, with a scholarly introduction. The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Vol. 13, Issue 26, No. 3 (June 29, 2015).

“Visual Cultures of Memory in Modern Japan: the historical uses of Japanese art collections” Chapter 5 in Joan Tumblety, ed. Memory and History: Understanding Memory as Source and Subject (Routledge Guides to Using Historical Sources). Routledge, UK, 2013,

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Expertise by Geography
Asia, Germany, Japan
Expertise by Chronology
Expertise by Topic
Colonialism, Human Rights, Politics, Public History, World War II