Kristin Roebuck

Assistant Professor

Department and Program Affiliations:
History

Academic focus: 
A historian of modern Japan, my research interests encompass the history of the body, medicine and law, race and sexuality, and Japanese international relations. 

Current research project:
I am drafting a book manuscript, “Japan Reborn: Mixed-Race Children and the Family of Nations after World War II,” which explores a mass-mediated and geopolitical furor that erupted in the 1950s over "mixed-blood" children born to Japanese women and American soldiers stationed in defeated Japan. “Japan Reborn” exposes how Japanese nationalism, often erroneously held to have vanished in the wake of defeat in World War II, was instead reconstructed on a new basis: that of the "pure race" rather than the failed state. 

Previous positions:
Mellon Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History, Cornell University, 2015-2017

Academic background: 
Ph.D., East Asian history, Columbia University, 2015
B.A., History, Barnard College, 2004

Last book read:
“Tokyo Boogie-Woogie: Japan’s Pop Era and Its Discontents,” by Hiromu Nagahara

In your own time/when not working:
I like to garden, explore the local lakes and woods, observe the local birds and wildlife, and practice yoga and weightlifting.

What most excites you about Cornell:
Cornell boasts all the strengths of an elite university—fantastic libraries and labs, top-tier researchers, smart and hard-working students—without succumbing to the elitism that such institutions often breed.  In my last two years here, I’ve come to treasure the combination of ambition and down-to-earthness that seems to characterize life and work at Cornell.  I take it as my mission to nurture the aspects of Cornell culture that combine intellectual rigor with humaneness and openness.