Hitomi Koyama

Profie photo of Hitomi Koyama

Associate Professor

Ph.D. in Political Science, Johns Hopkins University

htmkym [at] fc.ritsumei.ac.jp (Replace "[at]" with "@")
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  • Ph.D. in Political Science, Johns Hopkins University
  • B.A. with Honors, University of California San Diego

I received my Ph.D. in International Relations Theory and a minor in Political Theory at the Department of Political Science in Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore USA in 2015. I subsequently was appointed as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University (Jan. 2016-Dec. 2016), as Visiting Research Fellow at Ryukoku University's Afrasian Research Centre (Jan 2017-Jan 2018), and worked as University Lecturer at Leiden University in the Netherlands (Feb 2018-Feb 2019) prior to joining Ritsumeikan University in 2019.

Message to Students

To put it bluntly, during college you have a captive audience called your teachers for every writing that you produce. When you graduate, you will not have a captive audience. What does this mean? It means that, in four years, you want to find your own voice and be able to articulate your vision to the world that can captivate the world. That's why we will make you write a lot, because writing is thinking, and clear thinking is clear writing.

Courses Taught

  • History of the Modern World
  • Evolution of Governance
  • Introduction to Global Liberal Arts I
  • Introduction to Global Liberal Arts II
  • Research Seminar I
  • Research Seminar II

History of Modern World

To study the history of the modern world is more than learning about how the modern world came into being. It is also to learn how both chronology and modern concept of history are historical and by no means natural. By denaturalizing historical time this course examines the ways in which history of the modern world is not solely about documenting the past, but also about theorizing change and thereby, how we exercise agency in time.

Research Interests

Politics of History, Comparative Political Theory, History of Inter-'national' Relations of Asia

My first monograph examined the persistence of Japan's "history problem" in East Asia as a dilemma of how one might decolonize history writing. The internal limit of this discourse is especially salient in a region that self-identifies as post-imperial, postcolonial, and yet remains captive to the desire for sovereign-thinking of the world. By necessity my work spans amongst comparative political theory, critical International Relations theory, (post)colonialism, and non-Western International Relations theory with a particular focus on East Asia.

Supervision Information

  • A Window of Opportunity? The Olympic Torch Relay as empowerment of the nonviolent resistance campaigns of Catalans and Tibetans
  • Building the world: Situating Pyongyang's architecture between globalization, history, and inhabited space
  • Limits of Decolonizing the Museum: Macron's Gesture of Return of Art Works to Africa and French Neo-Imperial Practice
  • Is Womenomics Actually Empowering Women? On Neoliberal Appropriation of Women's Movement in Contemporary Japan

Representative Publications

  • On the Persistence of the Japanese History Problem: Historicism and the International Politics of History (2018)
  • "Rethinking Japan in mainstream international relations" with Barry Buzan in International Relations of the Asia-Pacific (2018)
  • "Historicism, Coloniality, and Culture in Wartime Japan" for Decolonial Temporalities, Contexto Internacional (2016)
  • "On the Gesture of 'I Prefer Not To': Rethinking the Historical Titles and Territorial Claims Surrounding the Dokdo/Takeshima/Liancourt Rock" in Victor Teo and Haruko Satoh ed., Japan's Island Troubles with China and Korea: Prospects and Challenges for Resolution (2018)
  • "On the Necessary and Disavowed Subject of History in Postwar 'Japan'" in Kosuke Shimizu ed., Critical International Relations Theories in East Asia: Relationality, Subjectivity, and Pragmatism (2019)