Dr. Akira Shimizu

Associate Professor History
Global Cultures

Breiseth Hall Breiseth Hall 104
(570) 408-4224

Dr. Akira Shimizu received his doctorate in Japanese history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and taught at Washington University in St. Louis, Yale University, and Wesleyan University before joining Wilkes faculty in 2015. His teaching reflects his broad interest in cultural and social history. At Wilkes, he offers interdisciplinary courses such as the history of daily life, food and foodways, material culture, war memories and popular culture, and World War II. Also, he seeks a variety of ways to employ digital media in the history classroom. As a former chef, Dr. Shimizu has been researching the history of foodways. He is currently completing his book manuscript entitled Regulating and Deregulating the Market: Specialty Food, Market Culture and Daily Life in the Japanese Capital, 1780-1870 that examines the historical significance of food branding. His second research project will examine the historical significance of tea and sake in Japan as well as the intersection of religion and food as seen in the practice of meat avoidance in Japanese Buddhism and indigenous Shintoism.

Dr. Akira Shimizu is a specialist in the history of Japan and East Asia, receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is particularly interested in the history of daily life, food and foodways, which is reflected in his research. His first book, Specialty Food, Market Culture, and Daily Life in Early Modern Japan external website, and his current research is on the history of saké. Dr. Shimizu brings this interest in food and his experience as a former professional chef into the classroom teaching courses on global food history, as well as courses on global history and the history of Japan and East Asia.