NOTE: I am currently away from Grinnell College on research and writing leave thanks to the generous support of a Jack ('39) and Lucile Hanson ('40) Harris Faculty Fellowship. I welcome contact by email or post (c/o The University of Oxford China Centre, 74 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HP, UNITED KINGDOM). For questions concerning courses in East Asian history during the 2013-2014 academic year, please contact Christopher Mayo in the History Department.
I am a scholar of communications as a political and social force, with expertise in the fields of modern history, contemporary history, comparative politics, war and society, and China/East Asia. I hold the position of Assistant Professor of East Asian History at Grinnell College, and am currently an academic visitor at the University of Oxford China Centre. My research and teaching focus on four interrelated issues: the impact of war in East Asia; the historical origins and geography of China's contemporary "propaganda state"; U.S.-China international and transnational relations; how contemporary narratives concerning China are produced, circulated, and consumed.
I have experience in the areas of international education, research, and scholarly communication. I am a former Jacob K. Javits and U.S. Fulbright fellow, and former employee of Harvard University's Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. From 2008 to 2010 I was Departmental Lecturer in the History and Politics of Modern China at the University of Oxford, and an affiliated researcher with the Leverhulme Trust-funded China's War with Japan Programme directed by Professor Rana Mitter. I have served as faculty chair of the Grinnell College Peace and Conflict Studies (PACS) Program, and as faculty advisor for study abroad in the Republic of Korea.
My professional interests also include higher education policy and international capacity-building in the public and private sectors. In 2011 I became a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations.
TEACHING AND STUDENT MENTORING
My priority at Grinnell College is undergraduate teaching, mentoring, and directed research. I am available to work with students on a Mentored Advanced Project (MAP) on any of the following topics:
- transnational relations of the Communist Party of China
- U.S. foreign policy in East Asia
- propaganda, communications, and wartime mobilization
- Grinnell and Grinnellians in Asia, including biographies of Katayama Sen (co-founder of the Communist Party of Japan) and Wu Guozhen (former mayor of Chongqing and Shanghai, and an influential Republic of China politician)
Topics of past projects I have mentored include: online politics in the People's Republic of China; North Korean history and strategic thought prior to the Korean War; the geography of economic in-migration in Southwest China; intra-regional migration and globalization in the Asia-Pacific.
I welcome new advisees.
RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS
I am currently engaged in collaborative research and editing projects related to:
- grassroots society and politics in China between 1949 and 1976
- the history of visual culture in modern China
- "iGeneration" cinema, independent filmmaking, and documenting government reform in the contemporary PRC
In addition, I am working on a dissertation-based manuscript titled War and the Propaganda State: Conflict, Modernization, and Media in Twentieth-Century China.