Dr. Nobuko Toyosawa


Cultural and intellectual history of Japan

Histories of human experiences can be measured and narrated in various ways. We often forget that what is presented to us as reality is one of many possibilities, and I am interested in exploring processes, structures, and systems that enable production of knowledge and interpretation of culture to understand the ways our reality is produced.  My research seeks to identify the past in the present and the implications of such discoveries as a means for political and social critique.


2000-2008 Ph.D. program in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. (Thesis: The Cartography of Epistemology: The Production of ‘National’ Space in Late 19th Century Japan)

1998-2000      M.A. in the Department of EALC, UIUC

2017-                            Research Fellow in the Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

2013-2016                    Postdoctoral Fellow in Early Modern Japanese Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, The University of Chicago.
2012-2013                    Teaching Fellow in Japanese History, School of History, Classics and Archaeology, Newcastle University, UK.
2011-2012                    Research Scholar, History Department, University of Southern California.
2009-2011                    Andrew Mellon Teaching Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, USC.
2008-2009                    Visiting Scholar, Department of History, USC.

Other academic activities:

  • Summer 2017-19 Instructor for the Summer Intensive Kuzushiji Workshop, The University of Chicago
  • Summer 2012-  Fellow in the NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities Spatial Narrative and Deep Maps: Exploration in the Spatial Humanities, University of California, Los Angeles.


  • 2018–present  Assistant Editor, Archiv Orientální, Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences