I study Japanese imperialism in China, with a particular focus on frontier formation, scientific expeditions, and nomadic decline in the first half of the twentieth century. My dissertation, "The Cartographic Steppe: Spaces of Development in Northeast Asia, 1895-1945," examines how the Japanese brought an unprecedented precision to the problem of colonial control in Inner Mongolia. Through redistricting, remapping, and resettlement, Japanese occupiers marked out ethnic and ecological divides in an attempt to bring administrative clarity to a region of increasingly overlapping Chinese and Mongolian communities. This reconstitution of land, territory, and the earth in the Mongol Lands further extended into the development of intensive agriculture, aerial technology, and the 'excavating sciences' of archaeology, paleontology, geology, and geophysics, all of which helped define the edge of the Japanese empire.
I received my AB in History from Harvard College, with a minor in Archaeology and a certificate in Japanese Studies from Kyoto University. After graduating, I taught as a university lecturer in History and English in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, through Princeton-in-Asia before returning to Harvard in order to pursue a doctorate. As a sixth-year PhD candidate, I have conducted eighteen months of archival research in China and Japan with institutional affiliations at Waseda University in Tokyo and Inner Mongolia University in Hohhot from 2012 to 2014. My project has received support from the Fulbright-IIE, the Japan Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. I am jointly affiliated with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies and the Mahindra Humanities Center as a Mellon Dissertation Completion Fellow. I expect to graduate in June 2015. I am also organizing an exhibition on Owen Lattimore’s photography in 1930s Manchuria at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University in the near future.