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Awards for 20th Century Japan Research

Each year, the Nathan and Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies and the University of Maryland Libraries invite applications for grants to support research in the Libraries' Gordon W. Prange Collection and East Asia Collection on topics related to the period of the Allied Occupation of Japan and its aftermath, 1945-1960. Holders of a Ph.D. or an equivalent degree are eligible to apply, as are graduate students who have completed all requirements for the doctorate except the dissertation. The competition is open to scholars in all parts of the world and from any discipline, but historical topics are preferred. University of Maryland faculty, staff, and students may not apply.

A formal announcement for the award 2025 will be posted here in November 2024. 

Award Recipients

Year Name Affiliation Title Research Topic
2024 Suhyun Choi Columbia University Ph.D candidate "Transnational Socialism and the Development of Realist Painting in Japan and North Korea, 1945-1980"
2024 Eike Exner "A Comparative Study of Visual Influences Seen in Occupation-era Manga”
2023 Zhizhi (Stella) Li University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ph.D candidate "Jazz in the Nightclubs: The Off-Limit Music World of Occupied Japan, 1945–1952"
2023 Benjamin Uchiyama University of Southern California Associate Professor
2020 Camila Gutierrez Pennsylvania State University Ph.D. Candidate "Gendered Visual Narratives: Chicana, Latin American, and Japanese modes of telling"
2020 Daniel Milne Kyoto University/Ritsumeikan University Lecturer "Seeds of the Revival of Postwar Tourism in Occupied Japan"
2018-2019 Alisa Freedman University of Oregon Professor "Discursive Construction of the Japanese Female University Student During the Occupation Era"
2018-2019 Timothy Smith University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Ph.D. Candidate "Clean Minds, Messy Realities: Shifting Trends in Contemporary Tenrikyo"
2017-2018 W. Evan Young Dickinson College Assistant Professor “Health and Home in Occupation-Era Japan: Women’s Magazines and Domestic Medical Care”
2017-2018 Emily Cole University of Oregon Ph.D. Candidate "Life in the Ruins: Photography during the Allied Occupation of Japan, 1945-1952"
2016-2017 Robert Hegwood University of Pennsylvania Ph.D. Candidate "Diasporic Diplomacy: The intermediary role that Japanese Americans (Nikkei) played in a grassroots campaign to change American perceptions of postwar Japan"
2015-2016 Anastasia Fedorova Hokkaido University Postdoctoral Fellow "Marxist Thought and Soviet Culture in Early Cold War Japan"
2015-2016 Miriam Kingsberg University of Colorado Professor "The Objectivity Generation: Japanese Human Scientists in the Transwar World"
2015-2016 Lauri Kitsnik University of Cambridge Ph.D. Candidate "The Theory and Practice of Scriptwriting during the Allied Occupation"
2014-2015 Vanessa Ward University of Otago Professor "Publishing Progressive Thought in Occupied Japan"
2014-2015 Shota Ogawa University of North Carolina at Charlotte Professor "Imagining Natural Color: Impact of Color Film on Occupation-era Paper Media"
2013-2014 Julia Bullock Emory University Professor "Coeducation in Japan under Allied Occupation"
2013-2014 Deokhyo Choi University of Cambridge Postdoctoral Fellow "Crucible of the Post-Empire: Decolonization, Race, and Cold War Politics in U.S.-Japan-Korea Relations, 1945-1952"
2013-2014 Emer O'Dwyer Oberlin College Professor "Searching for 'Truth' in Occupation-Era Magazines"
2012-2013 Jessamyn Abel Pennsylvania State University Senior Lecturer "Locomotives of Postwar Recovery: Development of the Bullet Train"
2011-2012 Charlotte Eubanks Pennsylvania State University Professor "Archival Memory: The Marukis and the Politics of Visual Culture in Trans-War Japan"
2011-2012 Ryan Holmberg Gakushuin University Postdoctoral Fellow "Ten Cent Manga: American Comics and the Rise of Gekiga"
2011-2012 Jolyon Thomas Princeton University Ph.D. Candidate "Japan's Preoccupation with Religious Freedom, 1890-1947"
2010-2011 Justin Jesty University of Chicago Ph.D. Candidate "Art and Social Movements in Postwar Japan, 1945-1960"
2009-2010 No awards were given.
2008-2009 Franziska Seraphim Boston College Professor "Public Responses to the Allied War Crimes Program and SCAP's Purge"
2008-2009 Aiko Takeuchi Brown University Ph.D. Candidate "Social Discussions over Female Reproduction in Postwar Japan"
2007-2008 Erik Esselstrom University of Vermont Professor "The Politics of Thought Crime in Wartime and Occupied Japan"
2007-2008 Ann Sherif Oberlin College Professor "The Influence of Progressive, Leftist, Religious and Regional Publishers on Art, Activism and Academia During the Occupation"
2006-2007 Kyoko Omori Hamilton College Professor "The Culture of Japanese Vernacular Modernism, 1920-1950"
2006-2007 Maki Umemura London School of Economics Ph.D. Candidate "The Pharmaceutical Industry in Japan since 1945"
2005-2006 Takashi Nishiyama MIT Postdoctoral Fellow "Former Military Scientists and Engineers, 1919-1964," and "Labor Activism in the Japan National Railways, 1945-1955"
2005-2006 Alicia Volk University of London Postdoctoral Fellow "Democratizing Japanese Art, 1945-1960"
2004-2005 Julia Adeney Thomas Notre Dame University Professor "Photography and Democracy: Between History and Sex in Occupied Japan"
2004-2005 Lee Pennington Columbia University Ph.D. Candidate "Wartorn Japan: Disabled Veterans and Society, 1931-1952"
2003-2004 Vera Mackie Curtain University of Technology Professor "A Cultural History of the Body in Modern Japan"
2003-2004 Kenji Ito Tokyo University Postdoctoral Fellow "Popular Perception of Science and Technology in Postwar Japan"
2002-2003 Helen Macnaughtan London School of Economics Postdoctoral Fellow "Female Labor and the Allied Occupation of Japan"
2002-2003 Miho Matsugu University of Chicago Ph.D. Candidate "Kawabata Yasunari's Snow Country as a National Narrative of the Occupation: 1945-1948"
2002-2003 Aaron Skabelund Columbia University Ph.D. Candidate "Japan's Postwar Military, 1945-1989."
2001-2002 Sonia Ryang Johns Hopkins University Professor "Japan's Emergence as an Anthropological Field"
2001-2002 Sayuri Shimizu Michigan State University Professor "Japanese Baseball under U.S. Occupation, 1945-1952"
2000-2001 Michael Molasky Connecticut College Professor "Reading Jazz in Postwar Japan"
2000-2001 Lori Watt Columbia University Ph.D. Candidate "Post-World War Two Repatriation in Japan, 1945-1958"
1999-2000 Kristine Dennehy UCLA Ph.D. Candidate "Memories of Colonial Korea in Postwar Japan"
1999-2000 Ben Dorfman Australia National University Ph.D. Candidate "Local Religious Organizations in Postwar Japan"
1999-2000 Joanne Izbicki Wake Forest University Professor "Orphans in Postwar Japan"
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