Acting Director, Harvard Yenching Institute (July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019)
Andrew Gordon’s teaching and research focus primarily on modern Japan but he has also taught Japan’s premodern history and courses on comparative history of labor. He has written, edited, or translated numerous books, including one that won the John King Fairbank Prize in 1992 for the best book on modern East Asian history and was a finalist for the 1992 Arisawa Hiromi Prize for the best book on Japan. His most recent publication is Fabricating Consumers: The Sewing Machine in Modern Japan (California, 2011; Japanese translation Misuzu Shobo, 2013), on the emergence of the modern consumer in Japan, using the sewing machine as a window on that story. He is currently working on a contemporary history of Japan's so-called "lost decades" of the 1990s and 2000s. The third edition of A Modern History of Japan, originally published in fall 2002 by Oxford University Press, and in Japanese, Chinese, and Korean translations, was issued in 2013. Two other of his books have been translated into Japanese,the edited volume Postwar Japan as History, by Misuzu Shobo in 2002, and The Evolution of Labor Relations in Japan, by Iwanami shoten in 2013. On the lighter side, combining the perspectives of a fan and an academic, Gordon published (in Japanese only) The Unknown Story of Matsuzaka’s Major League Revolution (Asahi Shinsho, 2007), a book placing Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first season with the Boston Red Sox in a cross-cultural and historical context. Gordon has served as chair of the Harvard History Department (2004-07) and director of the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies (1998-04, 2011-12). Gordon was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014. He joined the Harvard faculty in 1995, after ten years in the history department at Duke University. He received his A.B. (1975) and Ph.D. in History and East Asian Languages (1981) at Harvard. Professor Gordon has a joint appointment in the History Department.