- (812) 855-6951
- GA 2001
- Ph.D. in History, University of Copenhagen
- Conflict Studies
- The Medieval Japanese Estate System
- Premodern Political and Social History
- Culture of Violence
- Early Modern Japanese Visions of the Medieval Past
Courses Recently Taught
- E337/G357 - Premodern Japanese History
- E352 - Beauty of Violence and War in Medieval Japanese War Tales
- E352 - East Asia Between Mongols and Samurai
- E203 - Samurai Culture
- E100 - Introduction to East Asia
Awards and Fellowships
- New Frontiers of Creativity and Scholarship Award, Arts and Humanities Program, Indiana University (2018)
- Appointed Paul V. McNutt and Kathleen McNutt Watson Professorship in Japanese Studies, Indiana University (2017-2022)
- Mosaic Faculty Fellow (2017)
- Mellon Innovating International Research, Teaching, and Collaboration Award (2016)
- Jacob C. and Lily S. Wu Faculty Support Award (2016)
- IU Trustees Teaching Award (2015)
- "Bandits and Peasants in Medieval Japan," in Gordon, Kaeupper and Zurndorfer (eds.) The Cambridge World History of Violence, vol 2, 2020, pp. 207-227.
- Akutō: Rural Conflicts in Medieval Japan, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press (2018).
- “Epistemologies of Violence: The Medieval Japanese War Tales,” History and Theory, vol. 56:4, 2017: pp. 44-59.
- "The Vicissitudes of a Medieval Japanese Warrior." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society - Third Series, vol. 17, no. 1, 2007: pp 43-54.
- "Mineaiki and Discourses on Social Unrest in Medieval Japan." Japan Forum, vol. 18, no. 1, 2006: pp. 1-21.
- "Images of Akutō." Monumenta Nipponica. Sophia University, Japan, vol. 60, no. 2, 2005: pp. 235-62.
While I consider myself to be a rather amiable fellow, I love studying medieval Japanese conflicts.
Most people know about the samurai and their bloody business of war, but these elite warriors were far from the only violent entrepreneurs in medieval Japan. In my research and teachings I explore multiple social and cultural meanings of violence and conflict from the belief that they can also to raise new questions about the role and status of violence today.
Thematically I have specialized in the study of non-governmental violent actors and their significance for state formations and the development of conflict mediation strategies between centers and peripheries.
Within this broader and interdisciplinary field my research has focused on collective violence and irregular armed forces in general and on banditry in medieval Japan (ca. 1100-1400) in particular. In these studies I have introduced considerable comparative elements, where I have examined similar phenomena in European medieval contexts, as well as in other societies with a relatively low degree of central control.
In both research and teaching I engage questions of how violence has been (and still is) aestheticized and how violence can function as a communicative vehicle in different contexts.