Expert in Japanese History to Speak at University of Mississippi

OXFORD, Miss. – One of the foremost historians of early modern Japan is set to discuss “Is Wealth Virtuous? Is Consumption Ethical? Dispatches from Seventeenth-Century Japan” on Thursday (Oct. 11) at the University of Mississippi.

Mary Elizabeth Berry, the Class of 1944 Professor of History at the University of California at Berkeley, speaks at 5:30 p.m. in Bryant Hall, Room 209. Free and open to the public, the presentation is sponsored by the Department of History, Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, University Lecture Series and Office of the Provost.A reception follows the lecture in the Bryant Hall gallery.

“As both an indefatigable master of rarely used primary sources and a consummate storyteller, Professor Berry makes Japan the stage to answer questions of interest to students of early modern cultures around the globe,” said Noell Wilson, UM assistant professor of Japanese history.

Berry, who earned her doctorate at Harvard University, is a recent chair of the UC Berkeley history department, 2004-05 president of the Association of Asian Studies and amember of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“Professor Berry is one of the preeminent historians of Japan and has pioneered the field with classic works on Hideyoshi (one of the three great unifiers of 16th century Japan), the culture of war in Kyoto during the ‘Era of Warring States’ and the information explosion of the 1600s,” said Joshua Howard, Croft Associate Professor of History and International Studies at UM.

Her book publications include “Hideyoshi” (Harvard University Press, 1982), “The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto” (University of California Press, 1994) and “Japan in Print: Information and Nation in the Early Modern Period” (University of California Press, 2006). She co-edited “Chizu to ezu no seiji bunka-shi (Mapping and Politics in Premodern Japan)” (University of Tokyo Press, 2001) with Kurado Hideo and Sugimoto Fumiko, and is writing a book tentatively titled “Why Work So Hard? Opportunity, Profit and Pleasure in Early Modern Japan.”

“UM students routinely take classes led by faculty members actively engaged in the creation of knowledge, but we are delighted that we can also give them the opportunity to attend special lectures by leading scholars based at other universities, such as the one that Professor Berry will offer,” said Joseph Ward, UM professor and chair of history.

For more information or for assistance related to a disability, contact Joshua Howard at 662-915-5749.