The core of the Agrarian Studies Program’s activities is a weekly colloquium organized around an annual theme. Invited specialists send papers in advance that are the focus of an organized discussion by the faculty and graduate students associated with the colloquium.
This topic embraces, inter alia, the study of mutual perceptions between countryside and city, and patterns of cultural and material exchange, extraction, migration, credit, legal systems, and political order that link them.
It also includes an understanding of how different societies conceive of the spatial order they exhibit. What terms are meaningful and how are they related?: e.g., frontier, wilderness, arable, countryside, city, town, agriculture, commerce, “hills,” lowlands, maritime districts, inland. How have these meanings changed historically and what symbolic and material weight do they bear?
Hannah Shepherd is Assistant Professor in the Department of History. Before joining the Yale faculty, she was Junior Research Fellow in History at Trinity College, University of Cambridge. She holds degrees from Harvard University (AM, PhD), SOAS (MA), and the University of Oxford (BA Hons).
Shepherd’s teaching and research interests focus on modern Japan and its colonial empire, with an emphasis on the connected twentieth-century histories of imperial expansion, urban growth, and movement of peoples between Japan and Korea. Her current book project, Cities into Empire: Fukuoka, Pusan, and Japan’s Imperial Urbanization 1876-1953, focuses on two cities on either side of an imperial border. This project is based on her Ph.D. dissertation, for which she was awarded the 2019 Harold K. Gross Dissertation Prize by the Harvard Department of History. Her broader interests include urban and spatial history, Pacific history, migrants and migrations, and the histories of women in Empire.
Shepherd has been a Research Fellow at Waseda University (Tokyo), Yonsei University (Seoul), and Kyushu University (Fukuoka). Her research has been supported by the Japan Foundation, Korea Foundation, and Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. At Yale, Shepherd teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on modern Japanese history, Korea and the Japanese Empire, and the history of colonial and imperial cities.