About the Dr. David Chu Program

The Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies aims to foster and disseminate knowledge about the Asia-Pacific. Many of our activities promote specialized research and teaching about particular locations in the region; but our hallmark is that we provide an intellectual meeting ground for critical and self-reflexive conversations that cut across conventional academic disciplines and traditional area studies. Toward this end the program is especially interested in sponsoring activities that bring the Asia-Pacific into global conversations about the most pressing issues we face in the contemporary world, while at the same time reflecting on the significance of the past for us today. Our wide range of activities includes public academic events, teaching programs, scholarships, and more. These are aimed to strengthen undergraduate and graduate education, to contribute to excellence in scholarship, to support student initiatives and leadership development, and to advance knowledge of the Asia-Pacific in the wider community.  While the “Asia-Pacific” signifies a geographical region of the world, we recognize that it is ultimately an imaginary space whose boundaries are subject to negotiation and which may shift according to the issues we encounter. In a rough sense, however, we promote knowledge of Asia and its geographically contiguous Pacific region, while also addressing the presence of Asia and Asian populations in North America and throughout the world.


Meet the Director


Takashi Fujitani

Director, Dr. David Chu Program in Asia-Pacific Studies

Director Fujitani holds the Dr. David Chu Chair in Asia-Pacific Studies and is also Professor of History. He taught for more than two decades at the University of California’s Santa Cruz and San Diego campuses before moving to Doshisha University in Kyoto (2010) and then the University of Toronto (2011). His research focuses especially on modern and contemporary Japanese history, East Asian history, Asian American history, and transnational history (primarily U.S./Japan and Asia Pacific).

His major works include:  Splendid Monarchy (UC Press, 1996; Japanese version, NHK Books, 1994; Korean translation, Yeesan Press, 2003); Race for Empire: Koreans as Japanese and Japanese as Americans in WWII (UC Press, 2011; Japanese and Korean versions forthcoming from Iwanami Shoten and Il Cho Kak, respectively);  Perilous Memories: The Asia Pacific War(s) (co-edited, Duke U. Press, 2001); and Transcolonial Film Co-productions in the Japanese Empire: Antinomies in the Colonial Archive, a special issue of Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review(co-edited, 2012). His latest book was recently selected as a 2012 runner-up for the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize (best book in American Studies). He is currently working on three book length projects with the tentative titles:  Cold War Clint: Asia and the World of an American IconWhose ‘Good War’?: The Asia Pacific War(s); The Sovereign Remains: Essays on the Japanese Monarchy and Questions of Sovereignty.

He has held numerous grants and fellowships, including from the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, Stanford Humanities Center, Social Science Research Council, Institute for Research in Humanities at Kyoto U, Humanities Research Institute at UC Irvine, and University of California President’s Research Fellowship in the Humanities. He has also served on numerous editorial and institutional boards including for the International Journal of Korean HistoryCross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture ReviewJapanese Studies, University of California Press, Stanford Humanities Center, and Association for Asian Studies; and is editor of the series Asia Pacific Modern (UC Press).

Upcoming Events

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Graduate Student Network

We encourage U of T graduate students researching Asia and Asian worlds – whether or not you are currently active at the Asian Institute or new to it – to sign up formally to the Asian Institute Graduate Student Network. We will use this list to keep you informed about events, awards, opportunities, and invite you to take part in our vibrant graduate student community.

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