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Gluck, Carol (1941–) - Japanese History

university columbia asian professor

Carol Gluck was born on November 12, 1941, in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in Chicago and then attended Wellesley College, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1962. While at Wellesley she spent a year at the University of Munich, in Germany. Gluck completed her graduate work at Columbia University, earning the master’s degree and the Ph.D., both in Japanese history, in 1970 and 1977. While at Columbia she also earned a certificate from the East Asian Institute at Columbia University, and from 1973 to 1974 she was a Foreign Research Fellow at the Faculty of Law at Tokyo University.

In 1975 Gluck was appointed assistant professor at Columbia University’s department of history, department of East Asian languages and cultures, and East Asian Institute. She was promoted to associate professor in 1983 and professor in 1986. In 1988 Gluck was named George Sansom Professor of History at Columbia University; she still holds that position and rank. She also served as chair of the undergraduate program in East Asian studies from 1977 to 1987. While at Columbia Gluck held several visiting professor appointments, at the Tokyo University Faculty of Law, at Harvard University, at the Tokyo University Institute of Social Science, and at l’Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

Gluck has been the recipient of many awards and fellowships, including those from the Ford Foundation, the Fulbright Foundation, and the Japan Foundation. She was named fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters; received the Mark van Doren Award and the Great Teacher Award for teaching, from Columbia University; was awarded the Alumnae Achievement Award from Wellesley College; and was a Distinguished Lecturer for Asian Studies and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Her special field is the history of modern Japan from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, with writings in modern intellectual history, international relations, postwar Japanese history, historiography, and public memory in Japan and the West. She is the author or co-editor of three books and the author of eighteen scholarly articles. Her best-known work is Japan’s Modern Myths: Ideology in the Late Meiji Period , which won the John King Fairbank Prize of the American Historical Association and the Lionel Trilling Award of Columbia University. In this work, according to one reviewer, Gluck “set new standards, both methodologically and stylistically, for those working on the interrelation of politics and culture in imperial Japan.” Gluck is currently completing two books: Versions of the Past: The Japanese and Their Modern History , an examination of historical consciousness in twentieth-century Japan; and Varieties of Japanese History , an edited volume of translations of Japanese writings on history-writing.

Gluck has also provided a great deal of service to the profession. She is currently president-elect of the Association for Asian Studies; chair of the American Advisory Committee of the Japan Foundation; government-appointed member of the Japan U.S. Friendship Commission; and member of the board of directors of the Japan Society, the board of trustees of the Asia Society, and the Committee on Research Libraries of the New York Public Library. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, of the National Council for History Standards, of the Publications Committee of Columbia University Press, and of the editorial board of the Journal of Japanese Studies .

Carol Gluck is married to Peter L. Gluck; they have two sons, Thomas and William.

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