Coordinator, Graduate Program in History
Area of SpecializationModern JapanTransnational HistoryPedagogy
Jonathan Dresner became intrigued with Japan due to a year abroad in high school, continued studying the language and culture in college and eventually settled on an historical approach. An interest in international exchange led to a study of Japanese labor migration to Hawai'i in the late 1800s, which has broadened into the study of labor migration and modernization both in Japan and elsewhere, and the belief that the study of human movement is essential to understanding historical processes. After teaching in Iowa and Hawai'i, he came to PSU, where he teaches East Asian history, several specialized courses on Japan, and the World History surveys.
The combination of World history teaching and the study of migration has led him to regard transnational history as a critical field. A firm believer in the value of an accurate and complex historical perspective for policy debates and cultural understanding, he is involved in several projects bringing history to wider public attention, including East Asian history blogs and the History News Network website.
Ph.D., History, Harvard University, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 2001
A.M., History, Harvard University, Massachusetts, U.S.A., 1991
B.S, Language (Japanese), Georgetown University, Washington D.C., U.S.A., 1989
Japan To/Since 1700China To/Since 1700Korea Since 1700Samurai: History, Literature, MythologyHistory of Japanese WomenWorld History To/Since 1500
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Research InterestsJapanese Social History, Migration, and Modernity