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Karen Wigen

Karen Wigen

Frances and Charles Field Professor in History
History

Kären Wigen teaches Japanese history and the history of cartography at Stanford. A geographer by training, she earned her doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. Her first book, The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750-1920 (1995), mapped the economic transformation of southern Nagano Prefecture during the heyday of the silk industry. Her second book, A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (2010), returned to the ground of that study, exploring the roles of cartography, chorography, and regionalism in the making of modern Shinano. An abiding interest in world history led her to co-author The Myth of Continents (1997) with Martin Lewis, and to co-direct the "Oceans Connect" project at Duke University. She also introduced a forum on oceans in history for the American Historical Review and co-edited Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures, and Transoceanic Exchanges (2007) with Jerry Bentley and Renate Bridenthal. Her latest project is another collaboration, Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps, with co-editors Sugimoto Fumiko and Cary Karacas ( University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2016).