David Fedman

picture of David  Fedman

Assistant Professor, History
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2015, History
B.A., Brown University, History

Phone: History Department: 949-824-6521
Email: dfedman@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
200 Murray Krieger Hall
Mail Code: 3275
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Japan and Korea, environmental history, historical geography, global history, modern war
Academic Distinctions
Dr. Walter Ristow Prize for Academic Achievement in the History of Cartography (2014)
Journal of Historical Geography Prize (2013)
Christian Yegen Thesis Prize (2008)
Christine Matteson Prize for Excellence in Japanese Studies (2005)
Research Abstract
I'm a historian of modern Japan and Korea, specializing in the environmental history and historical geography of Japanese imperialism. My principal research project concerns the closely interlinked forest histories of the Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula. My book manuscript, “The Saw and the Seed: Japanese Forestry in Colonial Korea, 1895-1945,” examines Japanese efforts to understand, rehabilitate, exploit, modernize, and showcase Korea’s forests during the period of colonial rule. In particular, I show how debates over forest management and natural resource conservation extended beyond the Japanese state and its agents to entangle a host of local actors with conflicting interests and visions for environmental reform. A related project traces the politics of fuel conservation in Korea as revealed through the ondol, the radiant heated floor system conventional to Korean dwellings.

I'm also, a bit further afield, engaged in an ongoing collaborative research project on the targeting and destruction of Japanese cities during WWII. Working at the intersection of history, geography, and visual studies, we have explored how maps, photographs, and other visual materials were mobilized to plan and prosecute the firebombing of urban Japan. This project is housed at japanairraids.org.

At UCI, I offer courses on modern Japan, Korea, comparative colonialism, global environmental history, and modern war (from Dresden to Drones).
“Wartime Forestry and the ‘Low Temperature Lifestyle’ in Late Colonial Korea, 1937-45,” Journal of Asian Studies, forthcoming.
“Visions of a New Order in the Asia Pacific,” in Kären Wigen, Cary Karacas, and Sugimoto Fumiko, eds., Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 182-185.
Co-author (with Cary Karacas), “Blackened Cities, Blackened Maps,” in Kären Wigen, Cary Karacas, and Sugimoto Fumiko, eds., Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps, (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2016), 190-193.
"Mapping Armageddon: The Cartography of Ruin in Occupied Japan," The Portolan Journal of the Washington Map Society, Vol. 92 (Spring 2015), 7-29. [Awarded the Dr. Walter Ristow Prize for Academic Achievement in the History of Cartography by the Washington Map Society]
Co-author (with Cary Karacas), “The Optics of Urban Ruination: Toward an Archeological Approach to the Photography of the Japan Air Raids,” Journal of Urban History, Vol. 40, No. 5 (2014), 959-984.
Co-author (with Cary Karacas), “A Cartographic Fade to Black: Mapping the Destruction of Urban Japan during World War II,” Journal of Historical Geography, Vol. 38 (2012), 306-328. [Awarded the 2013 Journal of Historical Geography Prize]
"Mounting Modernization: Itakura Katsunobu, the Hokkaido University Alpine Club and Mountaineering in Pre-War Japan,” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 40, No. 3, October, 2009.
American Council of Learned Societies, Collaborative Research Fellowship (2017-2019); National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend (2017); Northeast Asia Council, Association for Asian Studies, Research Travel Grant (2017); The Japan Foundation, Japanese Studies Doctoral Fellowship (2013-2014); Fulbright Hays, Doctoral Dissertation Award (Declined); Freeman Spogli Institute, Dissertation Research Fellowship (Declined); Social Science Research Council, Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship (2012); Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University, Summer Research Grant (2012); FLAS Title VI Summer Grant (2011); Fulbright Fellowship, IIE, Japan (2008-2009)
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