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Jessa Dahl


Jessa Dahl

Visiting Instructor of History

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Visiting Instructor of History

General Interests

"My teaching interests include early modern and modern Japanese history, transnational histories of East Asia, and histories of gender, race, and colonial power. For me, teaching history is about more than facts, names, and dates. I want my students to engage with the content of my courses and see that they are living in a world that is shaped by the past and our interpretations of that past. My goal as a teacher is to give students the tools they need to actively take part in the making of history wherever they may find it. I am also interested in exploring new ways for historians to present their research to the wider audiences through the technologies of digital history and digital humanities. Some of my interests outside of teaching include calligraphy and cartography (among other abandoned craft projects), though I'm still very much a beginner!"

Years at Knox: 2020 to present

Ph.D. candidate, History, University of Chicago 
M.A., Social Sciences, 2012, University of Chicago.
B.A., History and Asian Studies, 2010, Knox College. 

Teaching Interests

History of East Asia, World History of Gender and Sexuality, Transnational/Global History, History of Colonialism, Historiography and Historical Research Methodology, Urban History/History of Space

Selected Professional Accomplishments


Division Overseas Dissertation Research Grant, University of Chicago Division of the Social Sciences, 2019.

Global Urban History Travel Grant, Global Urban History Projects, IPHS Conference, Yokohama, Japan, 2018.

Japan Foundation Doctoral Research Fellowship, Japan Foundation, Nagasaki University, 2017-2018.

Toshiba International Foundation Fellowship, Toshiba International Foundation, Inter-University Center for Japanese Languge Study, 2016.

Blakemore-Freeman Fellowship, The Blakemore Foundation, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Study, 2015.

Nippon Foundation Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Study, 2015.

Professional Training Grant: Japanese Studies, Japan Committee, University of Chicago, 2014.

Merit-Based Tuition Grant, Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 2011.

Fulbright Research Fellowship, U.S. State Department, Nagasaki University, 2010. 


“Agents of Change in a Changing World: Treaty Port Nagasaki and the Limitations of Local Resilience,” The Journal of Urban History, Oct. 8, 2019.


“Selling Albums, Making Japan: The Legacy of 19th Century Souvenir Photography,” American Historical Association Annual Conference, January 4, 2020, American Historical Association.

“Hospitality: Inasa’s Russian Village and the Transience of Transnational Space,” East Asia Transregional Histories Workshop, June 6, 2019, University of Chicago.

“Are Treaty Ports Beyond the North Atlantic?” Northwestern-University of Chicago Joint Workshop, May 9, 2019, East Asia Transregional Histories Workshop.

“Inasa’s Russian Village: Translation, Entrepreneurship and Interpersonal Networks in Treaty-Port Nagasaki, 1873-1905,” University of Chicago, University of Tokyo, Tohoku University Graduate
Student Conference, 2019.

“From Entrepot to Treaty Port: Nagasaki’s Networks of Transnational Exchange and the Nineteenth Century Global Order, 1859-1899,” International Planning History Society Conference, July 18, 2018, International Planning History Society.

“女傑から見える長崎 (Nagasaki as seen through the joketsu(heroic women)),” Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies Research Group, July 5, 2018, Nagasaki University of Foreign Studies.

“ 宣 教 師 と 近 代 長 崎 の 女 子 教 育 (Missionaries and Women’s Education in Modernizing Nagasaki),” 長崎居留地研究会 (Nagasaki Foreign Settlement Research Group), March 10, 2018.

“Reading the Fine Print: An Exploration of Gender and Translation in the RentalContracts of Russian Naval Officers in Meiji-Era Nagasaki,” Japan Foundation Fellow Meeting, January 12, 2018. Japan Foundation.

“After Dejima: Nagasaki’s Heroic Women and Networks of International Exchange,” East-Asia Transregional History Workshop, March 10, 2017, University of Chicago.

“Image of a Treaty Port City: 19th Century Yokohama in Practice and Play,” Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, October 16, 2016, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Fundamentals of Archival Research Workshop, Sept. 7-15, 2016, University of Tohoku and University of Chicago.

“吉田幸兵衛と J.ヘボンの手紙 (The Letters of Yoshida Kōbei and J. Hepburn),” IUC 2016-2017 Final Student Conference, June 8, 2016, Inter-University Center.

“All Roads Lead to Yokohama: Dōchū Sugoroku and the Opening of a Treaty Port,” Reading Kuzushiji: Research Symposium, June 19, 2015, University of Chicago.

“Image of a Treaty Port: Early Meiji Yokohama in Practice and Play,” History Extravaganza, June 5, 2015, University of Chicago.

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Printed on Friday, June 18, 2021