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AAS Distinguished Speaker: Dr. Louise Young

October 25 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

event poster with image of Louise Young and US officer with Japanese troops in parade formation.

We welcome Dr. Louise Young to UB on October 25-26, 2017. Dr. Young will meet with faculty and students interested in Japanese history. Dr. Young is Professor of Japanese History in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her talk, “Rethinking Empire in the Twentieth Century: Lessons from Imperial and Postimperial Japan” is free and open to the public on October 25, at 2pm. 107 Capen, UB North.


Dr. Young’s visit is supported by an award from the Distinguished Speakers Bureau of the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies and the Japan-United States Friendship Commission, the UB Asian Studies Program, and UB’s Department of History. Mark Nathan (UB Asian Studies and Dept. of History) proposed Dr. Young’s visit to the AAS NEAC Distinguished Speakers Bureau and was award the small grant to bring her to UB in July 2017. For more information about Dr. Young’s visit, please email Dr. Nathan at


LOUISE YOUNG is Vilas Distinguished Professor of History at UW-Madison and a senior fellow at the Institute for Research in Humanities. As an historian of modern Japan, her successive major research projects have focused on the relationship between culture and empire, urban modernism between the wars, and most recently, the history of sociology and the idea of class. In several new essays Young has returned to the subject of empire, especially the post-empire and contemporary geo-politics in East Asia. Two are forthcoming in 2017: “Rethinking Empire in the Twentieth Century: Lessons from Imperial and Post-imperial Japan, “ in The Oxford Handbook of the Ends of Empire, eds., Andrew Thompson and Martin Thomas (Oxford University Press) and “When Fascism Meets Empire in Japanese-occupied Manchuria, “ in special issue on Axis Empires, Journal of Global History. She is the author of Japan’s Total Empire: Manchuria and the Culture of Wartime Imperialism (University of California Press, 1998), winner of the John K. Fairbank and Hiromi Arisawa awards; and Beyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan (University of California Press, 2013). She is currently at work on a history of the idea of class: Middle Class Myths in Modern Japan: A Cultural History of Social Power. Young spent time as a visiting researcher at Tokyo University, Waseda University, and Kyoto University and conducted research at multiple local archives in Japan, with support from the Fulbright Foundation, Social Science Research Council, the National Endowment for Humanities, among other sources. With a B.A. from UW-Madison in Political Science (1981) and a Ph.D. from Columbia University in History (1993), Young held appointments at Georgetown University and New York University before joining the UW-Madison faculty in 2003. 11


Japan built a wartime empire in Asia in the 1930s, and after losing that empire in 1945 created trading imperium under the American cold war umbrella. What are the lessons that imperial Japan can teach us about the global moment of the twenties and thirties, when the rise of anti-colonial nationalism brought new pressures on longstanding imperial structures? After the cataclysm of World War Two shattered the foundations of colonial empires and divided the globe up into the first, second, and third worlds, what did this moment of rupture and the end of empire mean for Japan and Asia? (2) Beyond the Metropolis: Second Cities and Modern Life in Interwar Japan


October 25
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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University at Buffalo
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14260-1660 United States