Norihisa Yamashita

Profie photo of Norihisa Yamashita


M.A., University of Tokyo

norihisa [at] (Replace "[at]" with "@")
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  • The University of Tokyo (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)

Message to Students

My expertise is rooted in the World-System Analysis in which themes in International Relations are critically contextualized in the frameworks of Historical Sociology. The scope of my research has been shifting and expanding towards, so to speak, "historicizing the history (that was institutionalized in the social science)," which has lead me to focus more and more on transdisciplinary fields. While GLA boasts of the transdisciplinarity of its curriculum, I would like each of you to be as creative as possible to discover a personalized list of courses that are perfect for your own intellectual adventure. I am looking forward to sharing my own transdisciplinary practices and discussing various issues in the Civilization Studies with you in my classes.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Global Liberal Arts I & II
  • Globalization and International Relations: An Introduction
  • Sociological Theories: Classics and Contemporary
  • Macrohisotry and Metahistory
  • Research Seminar I & II
  • Thesis

I am mainly teaching Sociological Theories: Classics and Contemporary and Macrohisotry and Metahistory as well as Introduction to Global Liberal Arts I & II and Research Seminar I & II.

Sociological Theories: Classics and Contemporary provides a comprehensive theoretical overview of sociology from the classical to the contemporary, since the 2nd half of the 20th century. The overview includes the classic theorists like Weber and Durkheim, Structural-functionalism, Frankfurt School, Rational Choice Theory, and Post Structuralism, Post Modernism, and a range of contemporary theories of globalization.

Macrohisotry and Metahistory provides, after an introductory outlook of intellectual premises of history as an academic discipline, a theoretical overview of historiographies with long-term and large-scale perspective and historical analyses of structural changes of historiography. The students of this course will attain the historiographical literacy with which practical social issues can be appropriately contextualized in history.

Research Interests

Historical Sociology, Social Theory, Historiography

Based on the historical sociology and the social theory, I have been working on elaborating conceptual framework in which the contemporary social change can be better understood in the long-term and macroscopic perspective. By taking two different approaches, an object-oriented approach by which to focus on interaction between human and non-human agencies and a sociology-of-knowledge approach by which to focus on the mutual construction of institutionalized knowledge about society and social reality on the other, my research is becoming more and more transdisciplinary. Most recently, I have been engaged with the critical reinvestigation of the concepts of history (especially of the "world history"), interweaving the above two approaches together.

See more on Ritsumeikan University Researchers Database.

Supervision Information

The recent undergraduate theses I supervised include "Sub-politics and the Ritual", "Jurisdiction and Human Rights: on Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer", and "On Zizek/Laclau Debate", as I have a background of Social Theory. Students interested in the themes in Historical Sociology are also welcome.

Representative Publications

Following books are all in Japanese.

  • Japan in the World-System Analysis Perspective, Kodansha, 2003
  • On Contemporary Empires, NHK Books, 2008
  • Thinking Globalization through Wine, NTT Publications, 2009
  • Deconstructing Westphalian Historiography (co-ed. with Hiroaki Ataka and Atsushi Shibasaki), Nakanishiya Shuppan, 2016
  • Historical Literacy in the Age of Post-Globalization (edited volume), Toyokeizaishinposha, 2019

Teaching History

  • 2010-2019, Professor at the College of International Relations of Ritsumeikan University
  • 2007-2010, Associate Professor at the College of International Relations of Ritsumeikan University
  • 2001-2007, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Letters of Hokkaido University