I currently have two research projects underway:
Prospecting the Ruins: The History, Memory, and Visual Culture of the Japan Air Raids
An ongoing collaboration with Cary Karacas, a geographer at CUNY Staten Island, on the firebombings of Japanese cities during WWII. Having previously written about the cartography and photography of the strategic bombing of Japan, we are now undertaking research for a book entitled Prospecting the Ruins. Supported by an ACLS Collaborative Research Fellowship, this project examines the visual culture of the firebombing of urban Japan as revealed through five principal sets of images generated by the air war in the Pacific: maps, photographs, cartoons, films, and art.
Dai-Ōji: The Ōji Paper Company and the Politics of Pulp in Asia
This book project examines the intersection of three forces that profoundly shaped the transition of Asia’s forests into the twentieth century: 1) the expansion of Japan’s empire; 2) the industrialization of forestry; and 3) the integration of the global market place for pulp and paper products. It does so through the lens of a single corporation: the Ōji Paper Company, one of Japan’s largest corporate consumers of forest materials. By tracing the expansion of this company and its forestry operations, I contend, we gain insight not only into the changes wrought by Japan’s imperial expansion but also the material underpinnings of Japan’s vibrant print culture.