Naoko Shimazu

Humanities (History)

Associate Dean (Faculty Development)


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Professor Naoko Shimazu joined Yale-NUS College after 20 years of teaching at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck University of London. She obtained her BA (Hons) in Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, followed by MPhil and DPhil degrees in International Relations at the University of Oxford. For three years, she worked as a merchant banker in the City of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Professorial Research Associate at the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, London, Research Associate of the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore (NUS), and an Honorary Professor in the Department of History, NUS, among others. She has held research fellowships at the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo, Japan Foundation Fellow at Waseda University, Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Asia Research Institute, NUS, and most recently as Fernand Braudel Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. She has been the recipient of research grants, such as from the Arts and Humanities Research Council of UK, British Academy, and Leverhulme Trust, and USPC-NUS Fund.

Professor Shimazu is a global historian with a regional specialisation of East Asia writ large. Her main research interests concern the cultural history of international diplomacy, social and cultural history of modern societies at war, and new approaches to the study of empire. Her case studies derive from the twentieth-century, focusing on Japan, and or more broadly on Asia, including their interactions with the West. She is currently completing her monograph, Diplomacy as Theatre: The Bandung Conference of 1955 and the Making of the Third World.

Books and Edited Volumes:

Imagining Japan in Postwar East Asia: Identity Politics, Schooling and Popular Culture (Routledge, 2013), co-edited with Paul Morris and Edward Vickers.

Japanese Society at War: Death, Memory and the Russo-Japanese War (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

Nationalisms in Japan (Routledge, 2006), editor.

Japan, Race and Equality: The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 (Routledge, 1998).

Select Articles and Chapter Contributions:

‘A Cultural History of Diplomacy: Reassessing the Japanese “Performance” at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919’, in Urs Matthias Zachmann, ed., After Versailles: Asian Perspectives on the Paris Peace Conference and the Interwar Order, 1919-1933 (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press, 2017), pp. 101-123.

‘Performing “Freedom”: The Bandung Conference as Symbolic Post-Colonial Diplomacy’, in J. Dittmer and F. McConnell, eds., Diplomatic Cultures: Translations, Spaces, and Alternatives (London: Routledge, 2016), pp. 59-76.

‘Women “Performing” Diplomacy at the Bandung Conference of 1955’, in Darwis Khudori, ed., Bandung at 60: New Insights and Emerging Forces (Yogyakarta: Pustaka Pelajar, 2015; Delhi: Aakar Books, 2016), pp. 34-49.

‘Diplomacy as Theatre: Staging the Bandung Conference of 1955’, Modern Asian Studies, 48:1 (January 2014): 225-252.

‘Places in Diplomacy’, Guest Editorial, Political Geography 31:6 (2012): 335-336.

‘Colonial Encounters: Japanese Travel Writing on Colonial Taiwan’, Yuko Kikuchi, ed. Refracted Modernity: Visual Culture and Identity in Colonial Taiwan (University of Hawai’i Press, 2007), pp. 21-37.

‘Popular Representations of the Past: The Case of Postwar Japan’, Journal of Contemporary History 38:1 (January 2003): 101-116.

‘The Myth of the Patriotic Soldier: Japanese Attitudes towards Death in the Russo-Japanese War’, War and Society 19:2 (October 2001): 69-89.

‘Reflections on the History of Japanese Diplomacy’, Diplomacy and Statecraft 10:1 (March 1999): 240-251.

Comparative Social Inquiry
History Capstone Seminar
The Bandung Conference of 1955 (Historical Immersion)
The Japanese Empire in Global History (Intermediate History)