Rethinking the Twentieth Century Through the Prism of Modern Japan
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Room 3301 (Lift no 17-18), Academic Building


The Twentieth Century has been variously described as an American Century (Henry Luce), Century of Totalitarianism (Gerhard Leibholz), Short Twentieth Century (Eric Hobsbawn) and Century of War (Gabriel Kolko). While each characterization carries an element of truth, each also reflects the Euro-American centrality that continues to dominate visions of the modern world.  What do we see if, alternatively, we view the world through the prism of modern Japan?  The centering of the West has long been accompanied by a systematic decentering of Asia.  To re-envision the twentieth century through the prism of modern Japan promises a fundamental reevaluation of familiar global processes.  In so doing, we may more effectively approach Craig Lockard’s admirable ideal of becoming “citizens of a global village”.



Frederick Dickinson is Professor of Japanese History, former Co-Director of the Lauder Institute of Management and International Studies, and current Director of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Born in Tokyo and raised in Kanazawa and Kyoto, Japan, he writes and teaches about modern Japan, on empire, politics, and nationalism in East Asia and the Pacific, and on World History. He is the author of War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914 - 1919 (Harvard University Asia Center, 1999), Taisho tenno (Taisho Emperor, Minerva Press, 2009) and World War I and the Triumph of a New Japan, 1919-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). His Global History of Modern Japan (Cambridge University Press) will appear later this year.

Room 3301 (Lift no 17-18), Academic Building
Speakers / Performers:
Prof. Frederick R. DICKINSON
University of Pennsylvania