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 Jonathan F. Dresner, Ph.D.

Jonathan F. Dresner, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History / Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Sciences
Office: 406F Russ Hall
Phone: 620-235-4315

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About Dr. Jonathan Dresner

Coordinator, Graduate Program in History

Area of Specialization
Modern Japan
Transnational History

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

Courses Taught

Japan To/Since 1700
China To/Since 1700
Korea Since 1700
Samurai: History, Literature, Mythology
History of Japanese Women
World History To/Since 1500

Visit the History Program at Pittsburg State University >>

Teaching Emphasis

  • East Asia
  • World History
  • Historiography

Areas of Interest

Research Interests
Japanese Social History, Migration, and Modernity

Publications and Presentations


  • "International Labor Migrants' Return to Meiji-era Yamaguchi and Hiroshima: Economic and Social Effects." International Migration, vol. 46, no. 3. (Summer 2008), pp. 65-94. http://library.pittstate.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=ip&db=aph&AN=34545439&site=ehost-live
  • "Japanese Government Instructions to Emigrant Laborers, 1885-1894,'" pp. 52-68 in Japanese Diasporas: Unsung Pasts, Conflicting Presents and Uncertain Futures, edited by Nobuko Adachi. Routledge, Asia's Transformations series, 2006. Published in Japanese as     "image 2” [Instructions to Emigrants, 1885-1894] pp. 90-111 in image 1 [Japanese Diasporas], Shinseisha, Tokyo, 2008