Keirstead, Thomas

Professor Thomas Keirstead. Thomas Keirstead
(Ph.D., Stanford University)

Department of East Asian Studies
Associate Professor & Interim Chair
Office Location: Robarts Library #14085 (14th Floor)
E-mail: tom[dot]keirstead[at]utoronto[dot]ca

I am interested equally in the history of medieval Japanese culture and in the writing of that history. The former interest has found expression in articles on such topics as medieval peasant rebellions and outcast groups, as well as a book, The Geography of Power in Medieval Japan (Princeton). The latter interest has led me into writing about film, anime and print culture and to a book manuscript on Medieval Japan and the Making of a Modern Past (forthcoming). I am currently engaged in writing a cultural history of monsters and the monstrous in medieval Japan, which allows me to read strange stories about wizards and demons, and to indulge an interest in Japanese monster movies.

Major Publications:

  • The Geography of Power in Medieval Japan. N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1992.
  • “Gardens and Estates: Medievality and Space.” Positions 1, no. 2, (1993): 289-320.
  • “Inventing Medieval Japan: The History and Politics of National Identity.” The Medieval History Journal 1, no. 1 (1998): 47-71.
  • “Nation and Postnation in Japan.” In Nation Work: Asian Elites and National Identities edited by Timothy Brook and Andre Schmid, 219-240. MI: University of Michigan Press, 2000.
  • “Outcasts Before the Law: Pollution and Purification in Medieval Japan.” In Currents in Medieval Japanese History edited by G. Cameron Hurst and Lorraine Harrington. Figueroa Press, 2009

Academic Background:

  • Ph.D. in History, Stanford University (1989)
  • M.A. in East Asian Studies, Stanford University (1983)

Courses Taught:

  • Premodern East Asian History
  • Premodern Japan
  • Japanese Monsters
  • Edo, Kyoto, and Osaka: Urban Culture in Early Modern Japan
    Samurai Culture