Eiichiro Azuma

Asian American, Japanese American, Modern Japan, U.S. Immigration. and Race/Ethnic Relations
Alan Charles Kors Term Associate Professor of History
College Hall 311B
215 898.6698

Eiichiro Azuma is Alan Charles Kors Term Associate Professor of History and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania . He is specialized in Asian American history with an emphasis on Japanese Americans and transpacific migration, as well as Japanese colonialism and U.S.-Japan relations. Azuma's interest in migration and transnationalism has stemmed partially from his personal experience as an immigrant from Japan . He holds a M.A. in Asian American Studies (1992) and a Ph.D. in history (2000), both from University of California at Los Angeles . He has taught at Penn since January 2001. Since Fall 2009, Azuma has held the Alan Charles Kors Endowed Term Chair in History. In 2008-2009, he was also a recipient of the Donald D. Harrington Faculty Fellowship from the University of Texas , Austin.

Azuma is author of Between Two Empires: Race, History, and Transnationalism in Japanese America (Oxford University Press, 2005), which won the Theodore Saloutos Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, the Honorable Mention in the Frederick Jackson Turner Award by the Organization of American Historians and a History Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies, as well as a Hiroshi Shimizu book prize from the Japanese Association of American Studies. With Professor Gordon H. Chang of Stanford, Azuma also co-edited Yuji Ichioka, Before Internment: Essays in Prewar Japanese American History (Stanford University Press, 2006)--recipient of the Honorable Mention in the History Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies. Azuma has published over a dozen peer-reviewed academic articles; recently his articles have appeared in the Journal of American History Journal of Asian Studies Pacific Historical Review and Journal of American-East Asian Relations . Starting in 2009, he is co-editor of the Asian American Studies book series at the University of Illinois Press . He also serves as a member of the Executive Board of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society, and of the Editorial Board for the Journal of American Ethnic History.

Azuma is currently involved in three research projects. A sequel to his 2005 monograph, the first project looks into the experience of Japanese Americans in Occupied Japan and how it affected their return to mainstream America in the wake of the wartime internment. With a focus on their role as “cultural broker” that mediated between white American occupiers and defeated Japanese, the study will unravel what race, culture and citizenship meant to an American minority in the global context of postwar U.S. ascendancy. Azuma's second project deals with the formation of a “transborder” Japanese community in U.S.-Mexican Californias between 1900 and 1942, while the third is to compile a collection of essays that probe intersections of U.S. ethnic studies and Asian area studies through the lens of Japanese migration and imperial expansion. These projects attempt to question an orthodox nation-based analysis of history and a spatially compartmentalized way of learning.

At Penn, Professor Azuma is on the Faculty Steering Committees for the Asian American Studies Program and the Center for East Asian Studies, as well as the Advisory Committee for the Pan Asian American Community House. In 2007 and 2008, Azuma received the Rosane Rocher Faculty and Staff Award from the Pan Asian American Community House and the Gloria Twine Chisum Award for Distinguished Faculty from the James Brister Society, respectively.

Courses Taught: 
  • HIST 155 Introduction to Asian American History
  • HIST 354 American Expansion into the Pacific
  • HIST 374 Japanese American History