Annika Culver

Associate Professor of East Asian History
Annika Culver photo

Contact Information

Professor Annika A. Culver is Associate Professor of East Asian History at Florida State University, where she specializes in Japan and Northeast Asia-related topics. She received her doctorate from the University of Chicago, and also holds an MA in Regional Studies East Asia (RSEA) from Harvard University, and a history degree from Vassar College.  As a Faculty Associate affiliated with the Institute on WWII and the Human Experience, she works towards globalizing the Institute, and leads several digitization projects on collections related to the Asia-Pacific War (1937-1945) and its aftermath, including archivization of the Oliver L. Austin Photographic Collection, which features scenes of Japan under the US Occupation from the viewpoint of a Harvard-trained ornithologist under SCAP who circulated in aristocratic Japanese circles.  

Dr. Culver serves as a scholar in Cohort II of the US-Japan Network for the Future, which connects academics to the foreign policy community.  Previously, she taught at the University of North Carolina, Skidmore College, Beijing University, and the University of Chicago.  Her research interests include Manchuria/Manchukuo, Japanese cultural imperialism, wartime politics and the arts in East Asia, propaganda/advertising, gender and consumption, Sino-Japanese relations, and US-Japan relations.  

In 2013, Dr. Culver was awarded the William F. Sibley Memorial Translation Prize for translating into English a Japanese leftwing writer's story about Korean independence activists in the 1920s. She has received grants and fellowships from Japan Foundation (Faculty Research Fellowship, Book Subvention), Association for Asian Studies (China and Inner Asia Council/Northeast Asia Council Research Grants, First Book Subvention), Institute for Advanced Study (Visitor Affiliation), D. Kim Foundation (Research Grant), Kajima Foundation (Book Subvention), and USIIE (Fulbright).  

Her recent book, Glorify the Empire: Japanese Avant-Garde Propaganda in Manchukuo (Vancouver:  University of British Columbia Press, 2013; Seattle:  University of Washington Press, 2014), won the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SECAAS) 2015 book prize.  It explores how once anti-imperialist Japanese intellectuals produced modernist works celebrating the modernity of a fascist state in occupied China--reflecting a complicated picture of complicity with, and ambivalence towards, Japan’s utopian project. Recent publications include:  “Japanese Mothers and Rural Settlement in Wartime Manchukuo:  Gendered Reflections of Labor and Productivity in Manshû gurafu [Manchuria Graph], 1936-1943," in Dana Cooper and Claire Phelan, eds., Motherhood and War  (New York:  Palgrave MacMillan, July 2014); and "Shiseidô's Empire of Beauty:  Marketing Japanese Imperial Modernity in Northeast Asia. 1931-1941," in Shashi--The Journal of Japanese Business and Company History. (Autumn 2013).  Forthcoming book chapters and articles feature topics related to global cultural responses to WWII, consumer advertising in Japanese newspapers during the 1937 attack on Nanking, wartime commercialization of Japanese military care packages, and propaganda imagery of Japanese rural settlement in Manchukuo.

Dr. Culver is currently co-editing a volume of transnational scholarship on the literary production of multi-ethnic writers in Japanese-occupied Northeast China:  Literary Perspectives on Manchukuo, 1932-1945  (University of Hong Kong Press, forthcoming 2018).  She is also writing two monographs on the advertising of western consumer products produced by Japanese companies throughout the empire from the 1880s-1945, and on Dr. Austin's scientific work in postwar Korea (1945-1946) and Occupied Japan (1946-1950).