About me

I am a historian of South Asia and the British Empire, with a secondary research interest in the history of Japan. I work primarily at the intersections of media, science, technology and medicine, which I try to study through a combination of global and micro-history approaches. I was educated at the Universities of Tokyo and Heidelberg and worked for five years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford before returning to Heidelberg in 2018 as a research fellow.

My first book, The News of Empire: Telegraphy, Journalism, and the Politics of Reporting in Colonial India, c. 1830-1900, was published with Oxford University Press in 2016 and received the 2017 Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize for the best book on the history of journalism in any area of the world from the American Historical Association. A second book, Anxious Times: Medicine and Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Britain (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), was co-authored with colleagues at the University of Oxford, as part of the ERC-funded research project “Diseases of Modern Life” (2014-2019).

I am currently working on a new project funded by the German Research Foundation, titled “Archives of the Earth: Fossils, Science and Historical Imaginaries in Twentieth-Century India”. This is a study of the global science behind the exploitation of natural resources in South Asia, which traces connections to Britain, China, Germany and Japan. It is also a study of the hidden women who were involved in the making of this science, as professional scientists or in a host of other, little recognized capacities.

I am passionate about translation, across languages, writing genres and registers of presentation. When I have time, I translate Japanese scholarship into English, write stories about history for younger audiences and, more recently, work with artists to find new and exciting ways to bring historical research to a wider public. You can read about all this and more in the sections above. My institutional profile is here. For those of you who read Romanian–my first language–here is an interview with me in a local newspaper, which also features a badly cropped photograph. Thanks for stopping by!

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