Julia Adeney Thomas

Julia Adeney Thomas

Associate Professor

470 Decio
Ph.D., University of Chicago
Time Period(s)
Environmental, Intellectual, Political

Bringing critical theory to bear on questions of power in modern societies, Julia Adeney Thomas investigates concepts of nature in Japanese political ideology, the impact of the climate crisis on historiography, and photography as a political practice.  Her book, Reconfiguring Modernity: Concepts of Nature in Japanese Political Ideology, received the John K. Fairbank Prize from the American Historical Association in 2002 and her essay on wartime memory in Japan, "Photography, National Identity, and the 'Cataract of Times:' Wartime Images and the Case of Japan" in the American Historical Review received the Berkshire Conference of Women Historians' Best Article of the Year Award in 1999.  She brings her research interests into the classroom teaching courses that range from Neolithic Japan to politics and the environment, from comparative fascism to contemporary questions of photography's relationship with suffering.

Before joining the history faculty at Notre Dame, Julia taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Wisconsin, 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.

Many generous foundations and organizations have supported her research including the Mellon Foundation, 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.