Julia Adeney Thomas
- 470 Decio
- Ph.D., University of Chicago
- Time Period(s)
- Environmental, Intellectual, Political
Julia Thomas grew up in the coal country of southwest Virginia. Her sharp interest in environmental questions comes from her love of those mountains. As an intellectual historian of Japan, Thomas writes about concepts of nature and the Anthropocene, political thought, historiography, and photography as a political practice. Her publications include Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology (winner of the AHA John K. Fairbank Prize), Japan at Nature's Edge: The Environmental Context of a Global Power, and Rethinking Historical Distance as well as over thirty-five essays including three ("The Cataracts of Time: Wartime Images and the Case of Japan," "Not Yet Far Enough: The Environmental Turn" and "History and Biology in the Anthropocene: Questions of Scale, Questions of Value") in the American Historical Review. Her current projects include Visualizing Fascism: The Twentieth-Century Rise of the Global Right (Duke 2020), The Anthropocene (co-authored with geologists Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams, Polity, forthcoming) and The Historian's Task in the Anthropocene (under contract with Princeton University Press.) She brings her research interests into the classroom teaching courses that range from Neolithic Japan to Our Global Environment. With colleagues around the world, Thomas seeks to bridge the divide between the humanities and the sciences to address our global environmental crisis.
Before joining the history faculty at Notre Dame, Thomas taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Wisconsin, Madison where she received tenure in 2001. She has also been a visiting scholar at the University of Bielefeld (Germany), the University of Bristol (U.K.), the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte in Berlin, the Universität Heidelberg, and the University of Michigan as well as a member of the University of Wisconsin Humanities Institute, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Her research has been supported by the Mellon Foundation "New Directions" Fellowship, the Japan Foundation, the NEH, Mombusho (Japanese Ministry of Education), the Social Science Research Council, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and the ACLS.
Visualizing Fascism: The Twentieth-century Rise of the Global Right (2020) book's introduction
"History and Biology in the Anthropocene: Problems of Scale, Problems of Value"The American Historical Review, December 2014 https://doi.org/10.1093/ahr/119.5.1587