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Charles Schencking joined the department in 2009 and became Chairperson in 2010. Charles brings passion, dedication, and a wealth of international experience to his teaching, research, and university service. In relation to teaching, he enjoys sharing his passion for Japanese history, natural disasters, urban and environmental history, the history of science and technology, and the history of war, empire, and remembrance with students at all levels of study. A core component of his teaching philosophy is to encourage students to think creatively and critically about the past; his teaching emphasizes that history is not about memorization but rather a discipline of research, analysis, and interpretation. Another key component to his teaching is the emphasis he places on research-led teaching. Finally, his teaching also seeks to empower students to develop the confidence to articulate ideas and opinions about the past in a clear, concise, and persuasive manner. Charles has been awarded a host of prestigious teaching awards including the Australian Learning and Teaching Council's Australian Higher Education Teacher of the Year Award, Early Career Category, in 2006 and the University of Melbourne Barbara Falk Teaching Award in 2006 that recognized the university's outstanding teaching from among the Arts, Law, Education, and Music faculties.
Charles is an active researcher who has published widely in the field of Japanese history, the history of natural disasters, and the history of war, state, and society. His current research on the devastating earthquake and fires that destroyed Tokyo and Yokohama in 1923 aims to transform our understanding of one of the most destructive, deadly, and costly natural disasters of the 20th century: The Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923. His book entitled The Great Kantō Earthquake and the Chimera of National Reconstruction in Japan will be released by Columbia University Press in Spring 2013.
Prior to embarking on his current research, Charles completed numerous journal articles, book chapters, and a monograph on the social, political, and institutional history of the Imperial Japanese Navy between 1868 and 1922. His most important work on the Japanese navy was his research monograph published by Stanford University Press in 2005 entitled “Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, and the Emergence of the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868-1922.”Since beginning his career, Charles has secured major research grants to support his past and current research from the British Academy, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Australian Research Council, and the Hong Kong Research Grants Council.
Sole Authored Book
Published Book Reviews of Making Waves
2. "The Great Kanto Earthquake and the Culture of Catastrophe and Reconstruction in 1920s Japan." Journal of Japanese Studies 34:2 (Summer 2008): 295-331. (15,400 words)
3. "The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the Japanese Nation: Responding to an Urban Calamity of an Unprecedented Nature," Education About Asia 12:2 (Fall 2007): 20-25. **Special issue on Natural Disasters in Asia** (4,673 words)
4. "Catastrophe, Opportunism, Contestation: The Fractured Politics of Reconstructing Tokyo following the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923," Modern Asian Studies 40:4 (October 2006): 833-874. (13,995 words)
5. "The Imperial Japanese Navy and the Constructed Consciousness of a South Seas Destiny, 1872-1921," Modern Asian Studies 33:4 (October 1999): 769-796. (12,876 words).
6. "Bureaucratic Politics, Military Budgets, and Japan's Southern Advance: The Imperial Navy's Seizure of German Micronesia in World War I," War in History 5:3 (July 1998): 308-326. (7,987 words).
Chapters in Edited Volumes
2. "Interservice Rivalry and Politics in Post-War Japan," in John Steinberg et. al., The Russo-Japanese War in a Global Perspective: World War Zero , (London: Brill, 2005): 565-580. (11,108 words).
3. "Navalism, Naval Expansion, and War: The Anglo-Japanese Alliance and the Japanese Navy, 1902-1922," in Philips O'Brien, ed., The Anglo-Japanese Alliance, (London: Routledge, 2004): 122-139. (8,807 words).
4. "The Politics of Pragmatism and Pageantry: Selling the Navy at the Elite and Local Level in Japan, 1890-1913," in Sandra Wilson, ed., Nation and Nationalism in Japan, (London: Routledge/Curzon, 2002): 21-37. (9,172 words).
5. "From Micro History to Macro History: Drawing on Japanese Soldiers' Experiences in the Second World War," in Peter Bastian and Roger Bell, eds., Through Depression and War: The United States and Australia , (Sydney: Australia-American Fulbright Commission, 2002): 118-128. (4,923 words).
Encyclopedia Entries, Book Reviews, and Review Articles
The five most recent are:
1. Kyu Hyun Kim, The Age of Visions and Arguments: Parliamentarianism and the National Public Sphere in Early Meiji Japan (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007). Asian Studies Review 34:3 (September 2010): 385-386.
2. Richard Smethurst, From Foot Soldier to Finance Minister, Takahashi Korekiyo: Japan's Keynes (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2007). Japanese Studies 28:3 (December 2008): 413-415.
3. Asada Sadao, From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2006). Pacific Historical Review 77:2 (May 2008): 357-358.
4. Mark Metzler, Lever of Empire: The International Gold Standard and the Crisis of Liberalism in Prewar Japan (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). Japanese Studies 27:2 (September 2007): 212-215.?
5. Gregory Clancey, Earthquake Nation: The Cultural Politics of Japanese Seismicity, 1868-1930 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). Monumenta Nipponica 62:2 (Summer 2007): 5-8.?
Phoebe Tang, "Selling Skylab: Dreams and Challenges" (MPhil)
HIST2105 The Rise of Modern Japan, 1830-1950s
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