Faculty Directory

E. Taylor Atkins

 Presidential Teaching Professor

Fields of Study: Asia (Japan & Korea), Colonial Empires, Cultural/Intellectual, Global, Memory and Commemoration

E-mail: etatkins@niu.edu
Phone: 815-753-6699
Office: Zulauf 702

Education: Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997

Current Research: A global study of responses by adherents of the Baha'i' Faith to colonialism and decolonization

Major/Recent Publications:

  • Primitive Selves: Koreana in the Japanese Colonial Gaze, 1910-45. Colonialisms 5. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010.
  • (Editor) Jazz Planet. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi 2003.
  •  Blue Nippon: Authenticating Jazz in Japan. Durham: Duke UP 2001.
Articles/Book Chapters
  • "The Funky Divas Talk Back: Dialogues about Black Feminism, Masculinity, and Soul Power in the Music of James Brown." Popular Music and Society 38.5 (Dec. 2014).
  • "Jazz by the Sea: KRML and the Radio Presence of 'America's Classical Music'" (with Ashley Parra), Jazz Perspectives 7.2 (2013): 133-180.
  • "The Dual Career of 'Arirang': The Korean Resistance Anthem That Became a Japanese Pop Hit." Journal of Asian Studies 66.3 (August 2007): 645-687. 
  • "Popular Culture." In William Tsutsui, ed., A Companion to Japanese History. Blackwell Companions to World History. Malden, MA, & Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2007. 460-76.
  • "Sacred Swing: The Sacralization of Jazz in the American Bahá‡'í’ Community." American Music 24.4 (Winter 2006): 383-420.
  • "Edifying Tones: Using Music to Teach Asian History and Culture." Education About Asia 8.1 (Spring 2003): 17-20.
  • "Korean P’ansori and the Blues: Art for Communal Healing" (co-authored with Katharine C. Purcell).  East-West Connections: Review of Asian Studies 2 (2002): 63-84.

Teaching Interests:

One of the joys of being a teacher is the continual opportunity to learn new material. My principal teaching responsibilities at the lower division are modern world and Asian history classes; at the upper division I regularly teach a three-semester, 300-level sequence in Japanese history and a 400-level course on the Japanese empire. But I have also developed a number of new thematic courses on topics such as the Korean War, Asian women’s history, modern colonialism, Rebel Music, and a graduate research seminar on popular culture in history. Although I try to teach some aspect of the discipline of history in every class, some of my favorite courses are specifically methodological: Historical Methods, Oral History, and Senior Thesis. “Engaged learning” is a regular aspect of my courses: my students have done oral history research for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, and collected interviews about the February 14, 2008, campus shooting, which are deposited in the University Archives; they have presented their work on political protest music at a public conference; the Knights and Samurai classes have researched, written, and performed an original play, and developed a public history web-based resource site on knights and samurai; and students in my Historical Methods course worked on a group research project to respond to right-wing denials of Japanese military involvement in the forcible recruitment of “comfort women.” In May 2015 I will take NIU students to the Japan Center for Michigan Universities for a two-week study abroad course on premodern Japanese history, using the local resources of the Lake Biwa region to investigate environmental, political, religious, economic, and military history.

Courses Taught:
  • HIST 141 Asia Since 1500
  • HIST 171 The World Since 1500
  • HIST 295 Historical Methods
  • HIST 346 Women in Asian History
  • HIST 350 Japan to 1600
  • HIST 351 Japan since 1600
  • HIST 352 Popular Culture in Japan
  • HIST 398 Themes in World History: The Korean War
  • HIST 399H Honors Seminar
  • HIST 444 The Japanese Empire
  • HIST 490 Special Topics: Knights And Samurai (with Professor Valerie Garver)
  • HIST 494 Oral History
  • HIST 495 Senior Thesis
  • HIST 690 Modern Colonialism
  • HIST 790 Research Seminar