Japan and Korea, environmental history, historical geography, global history, modern war
American Historical Association Pacific Coast Branch Book Award (2021)
Joel A. Tarr Envirotech Article Prize (2019)
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)
David Fedman is a historian of Japan and Korea, specializing in the environmental history and historical geography of Japanese imperialism. He is the author of Seeds of Control: Japan’s Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea (University of Washington Press, 2020).
Together with geographer Cary Karacas, he is also engaged in an ongoing collaborative research project on the firebombing of Japanese cities during World War II. They are now at work on a book, provisionally titled Prospecting the Ruins: Memory and Meaning in Japan's Scorched Earth of World War II. Blending approaches from history, geography, and visual studies, this project examines how maps, photographs, and other visual materials were mobilized to plan and prosecute the destruction of urban Japan. Since 2012, they have also maintained JapanAirRaids.org, a bilingual digital archive dedicated to the dissemination of primary sources related to the strategic bombing of Japan during WWII.
Seeds of Control: Japan's Empire of Forestry in Colonial Korea (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020).
“Place Annihilation: The Great Tokyo Air Raid and the Making of a ‘Low-City” Calamity,” a digital module for the Deep Mapping Japanese History project edited by David Ambaras and Kate McDonald.
Co-author (with Martin Hood), “Hotly Debated Ice: Scholar Alpinism and the Great Glacier Controversy in Modern Japan,” Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences Vol. 49, no. 3 (2019): 273-299.
“The Ondol Problem and the Politics of Forest Conservation in Colonial Korea,” Journal of Korean Studies Vol. 23, no. 1 (2018): 25-64. [Awarded the Joel A. Tarr Envirotech Article Prize by the EnviroTech Group of the Society for the History of Technology]
“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.
“Wartime Forestry and the ‘Low Temperature Lifestyle’ in Late Colonial Korea, 1937-45,” Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 77, no. 2 (2018): 33-50.
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)