March 1, 2018/ 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM


A Maidservant's Tale: Narrating Japan Between Domestic and Global History, c. 1800

Colloquium with Professor Amy Stanley, Northwestern University

Microhistory and global history are often seen as opposing approaches to historical inquiry, with irreconcilable research methods, central questions, and strategies of narration. This talk combines both approaches, telling the story of an Edo period Japanese woman both as a microhistory and as a global history. The protagonist, Tsuneno, was a divorced woman from a small village in Echigo Province who ran away to Edo and worked as a maidservant. By placing her story of urban migration and service work in a global context, this talk considers how we might find a place for Japanese women in the history of global early modernity.

About the speaker:

Professor Amy Stanley (Northwestern University) specializes in the history of early modern and modern Japan, with a particular interest in how common people contributed to Japan’s economic, political, and social transformation in the nineteenth century. She is the author of Selling Women: Prostitution, Markets, and the Household in Early Modern Japan (UC Press, 2012) as well as articles in The Journal of Japanese Studies, The Journal of Asian Studies, and the American Historical Review. Her current project, a history of early nineteenth-century Japan as seen through the eyes of a commoner woman, is forthcoming from Scribner in 2020.

Download file: 3.1.18-stanley-flyer-f5-uer.pdf