You are here: Home / People / Jessamyn R. Abel

Jessamyn R. Abel

Jessamyn R. Abel

Associate Professor of Asian Studies

201C Old Botany
Office Phone: (814) 865-3931


  1. PhD, Columbia University, 2004
  2. MIA, Columbia University, 1997
  3. BA, Princeton University, 1992


I am Associate Professor in Asian Studies and have served as the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies since 2014. My research focus is on modern Japanese history, with particular interests in cultural history, infrastructure, technology, and international relations. I am currently working on a book-length research project titled "Speeding Bullet: A Cultural History of the World’s Fastest Train," which focuses on the opening of the Tōkaidō Shinkansen, Japan’s first bullet train, in terms of space, speed, identity, and international relations. My first book _The International Minimum: Japan's Global Engagement in the Twentieth Century_ (University of Hawai'i Press, 2015) examines the transwar development of Japanese internationalism. Other publications include articles on the Tokyo Olympics, cultural diplomacy during World War II, and the history of whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries. In teaching, I bring globally contextualized views of Japan and Asia into the classroom.