I have appointments in the History Department and the Asian Studies Program of Vanderbilt University where my teaching and research straddles modern Japanese cultural history and cultural studies. My first book, Civilization and Monsters: Spirits of Modernity in Meiji Japan (Duke UP, 1999), is a study of how traditional folk beliefs and a wider discourse on the mysterious and supernatural were reconfigured in the context of Japan’s modernization to serve the consolidation of a nation-state on the one hand and to offer a platform of critique of Japan’s path to modernization on the other. My second book serendipitously shifted from research sites in northern Japan to southern Okinawa (long story), Beachheads: War, Peace, and Tourism in Postwar Okinawa (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012) considers issues of tourism and war memorialization in postwar Okinawa. I’ve done several journal articles in this area, including “Waging Peace on Okinawa” that was cited as Honorable Mention for Best Article in the journal Critical Asian Studies in 2001 and a forthcoming piece in a volume on global WWII war remembrance. I’ve presented sections of these works over the years at many domestic and international fora of Japanese historical and cultural studies.
I’ve recently embarked on a third book-length project, “Multiple Exposure: Photography in Postwar Okinawa, 1945-75″ which brings into conversation together for the first time the business, production, and product of Okinawan, mainland Japanese, and American photography of Okinawa and its people.