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Durham University

Department of History

Staff Profile

Dr Adam Bronson

Assistant Professor (Modern Japanese History) in the Department of History

(email at

My research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of Japan since the nineteenth century. I am particularly interested in the relationship between the transnational circulation of ideas and local intellectual and political practices My first book, One Hundred Million Philosophers (Hawaii, 2016), explored this topic through the trajectory of democratic intellectual and social movements after World War II.

I am currently working on two projects. The first surveys the history of rumours in Japan from the turn of the nineteenth century to the near present. The second examines mid-century cultural movements in connection with the postwar ideal of Japan as a "nation of culture" (bunka kokka / Kulturstaat). Both are part of an effort to rethink the role of cross-cultural comparisons in mid-twentieth century intellectual history. I have organised a conference on this subject that will take place in May 2019.

I would be happy to consider supervising postgraduate projects that relate to modern Japanese intellectual, cultural, and/or poltical history.

Research Interests

  • Japanese history; 19th and 20th centuries
  • Marxism and pragmatism
  • Social movements and democracy
  • History of rumours


Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Journal Article

  • Bronson, Adam (2008). Japanese Folklore Studies and History: Prewar and Postwar Inflections. Folklore Forum 38(1): 8-35.