Jessamyn Abel

Jessamyn Abel
Associate Professor of Asian Studies
(814) 865-3931
201C Old Botany Building
Asian Studies, College of the Liberal Arts

PhD, Columbia University, 2004
MIA, Columbia University, 1997
BA, Princeton University, 1992

Jessamyn Abel is a historian of modern Japan with interests in cultural history, technology, infrastructure, sports, and international relations. Her first book, The International Minimum: Creativity and Contradiction in Japan’s Global Engagement, 1933-1964, examines the transwar development of Japanese internationalism. Her second book, Dream Super-Express: A Cultural History of the World’s First Bullet Train, views the 1960s through the window of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, showing how infrastructure operates beyond its intended use as a means of transportation to perform cultural and sociological functions. Other publications include articles on technology and infrastructure, the Tokyo Olympics, cultural diplomacy, textbooks, and the history of whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries. Jessamyn's current research is on the intertwined politics and culture of food security in postwar Japan.