27 April 2022 • Faculty Yoshikawa Awarded Fulbright to Taiwan

The award supports a research project examining the colonial politics of nature in the Asia-Pacific region.

Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies Lisa Yoshikawa is the recipient of a 2022-23 Fulbright Award to Taiwan, where her research will focus on Japan’s colonialism and its legacy, specifically its effect on the relationships between humans, other animal species and the environment. She will be working at Academia Sinica, the foremost research institution in Taiwan and one of the top-ranked in all of Asia.

The project — “The colonial politics of nature: imagining animal empire in Taiwan” — looks at how “imperial Japan’s Taiwan-based zoologists, in conversation and competition with each other and with those in the metropole and other colonies, supported and challenged the empire’s expansion through their animal research and zoo-mapping,” Yoshikawa explains.

The research is part of an ongoing book project exploring the legacies of New Imperialism that continue to shape the Asia-Pacific region’s international, human and species relationships, and their impact on the environment. 

“I am thrilled that Dr. Yoshikawa has received this much-deserved recognition for her research on imperial Japan,” says Provost and Dean of Faculty Sarah Kirk. “Dr. Yoshikawa is a strong example of the kind of faculty who thrive at Hobart and William Smith – those who are experts in their fields while also dedicating themselves wholly to their students.”

Yoshikawa is a scholar of imperial Japan, focusing on knowledge production and their tangible impacts on people and the planet. Her 2017 book, Making History Matter: Kuroita Katsumi and the Construction of Imperial Japan (Harvard), offers a cultural and intellectual history of an interwar Japanese historian and his generation. Her teaching interests span from the medieval Mongols to contemporary Asia-Pacific relations, and from national histories to transnational memory wars.

Joining the HWS faculty in 2006, Yoshikawa has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Henry Luce Foundation, and Freeman-ASIA, among other organizations. Her recent paper presentations — delivered in Singapore, Germany, the U.K., Japan and the U.S. — have covered the intersection of history and the environment, historical science and empire building, among other topics. She earned her B.A. from Wellesley College and M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Yale University.