Santa Clara University

History department

Barbara Molony


Barbara Molony

O'Connor Hall 20
tel (408)554-4433
fax (408)554-2181

Spring 2014
Office Hours:
Tuesdays 2:00pm-3:00pm

Wednesdays 9:00am-10:00am



My teaching and research interests focus on modern Japan and its global connections. I currently teach courses on medieval as well as modern Japan, women and gender in China, Japan, and Korea, and imperialism in East Asia. I encourage students to think about transnational issues such as religion, race, class, modernity, sexuality, the environment, citizenship and nationality, human rights, ideology, construction of masculinities and femininities, and technology. I am committed to drawing conceptual linkages between Japan and the world (especially Northeast Asia) and have therefore been a co-author of two books that I hope will introduce students at Santa Clara and elsewhere to this view of transnationally integrated history: Civilizations Past and Present (a world history from antiquity to the present, Pearson) and Modern East Asia: An Integrated History (Pearson). I am currently co-authoring, with Janet Thiessen and Hyaeweol Choi, Gender in Modern East Asia.

My primary research interests at this time are centered on women's rights and the construction and representation of gender. My students in History 150 ("Women in East Asia") have always been a source of inspiration for new approaches to the themes I love. Some of my recent articles in this area are:

  • "From 'Mothers of Humanity' to 'Assisting the Emperor': Gendered Belonging in the Wartime Rhetoric of Japanese Feminist Ichikawa Fusae" ( 2011)
  • "Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Feminisms in Japan, 1900-2008" (2009)
  • "Gender, Citizenship, and Dress in Modernizing Japan" (2007)
  • "Why Should a Feminist Care about What Goes on Behind the Chrysanthemum Curtain? The Imperial Succession Issue as a Metaphor for Women's Rights" (2005)
  • "Ichikawa Fusae and Japan's Prewar Women's Suffrage Movement" (2005)
  • "Citizenship and Suffrage in Interwar Japan" (2004)
  • "Women's Rights, Feminism, and Suffragism in Japan, 1870-1925" (2000, winner of the Ridge Article Prize, Western Association of Women Historians).

 For a complete list of publications, please see my CV.

I have co-edited (with Emiko Ochiai) Asia's New Mothers: Crafting Gender Roles and Childcare Networks in East and Southeast Asian Societies (Global Oriental, 2008) and (with Kathleen Uno) Gendering Modern Japanese History (Harvard, 2005). I enjoy helping to review the contributions of other scholars in the field by serving as Associate Editor of the US-Japan Women's Journal.

Before turning to focus on women's and gender history, I did research in the area of technology and imperialism, and published several articles and one book, Technology and Investment in the Prewar Japanese Chemical Industry (Harvard, 1990).

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