Research Interests:

  • History of twentieth-century Japan
  • Environmental history
  • Urban history
  • Consumption and consumer culture
  • Visual culture


  • 20th century; East Asian History; Environment and Society; Money, Political Economy and Commercial Life; Urbanism and Architecture

I am now focused in my research on environmental history and urban history, and my teaching in the History Department is organized around those themes as well, including a regular graduate colloquium in Global Environmental History, a deep introduction to the field for students working in any regional or other thematic area, and an undergraduate course called Confronting Catastrophe: Natural Disasters in World Environmental History.   

I am exploring how horticultural societies, landscape architects, botanical scientists, seed companies, and gardening hobbyists alike in the U.S., Australia, and Great Britain worked with Japanese botanical partners to drive a new global transfer of Japanese horticultural products as they sought species to ornament middle-class landscapes back home.

Earlier in my career, my interests revolved around the history of social science, political economy, consumption, population thought, and twentieth-century forms of statistical knowledge.

Research Areas:

  • Twentieth-century Japanese history; consumption and consumer culture; environmental history; urban history; history of visual culture
Language Studies, Language Studies, Asian Studies, Chinese, Chinese, History, Japanese, Japanese
PhD, Columbia University, 2002
MA, Yale University, 1992