For fun: Pre-modern East Asian coins

Dept. of History


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Luke Roberts Home Page UCSB tower

Department of History
University of California at Santa Barbara

Associate Professor
History on the Japanese Islands

Office: 2448 HSSB
Telephone: 805-893-2556

About myself as a professor and scholar

I have taught various courses in Japanese history at UCSB since beginning work in 1991. For descriptions of the courses please click classes. I enjoy teaching and emphasise social, economic and cultural history more than political history. I frequently use translated literature in my classes as sources for this kind of history. In lecture I use a many visual materials because I know that Japanese history seems foreign to most of my students. I have students write frequently and encourage discussion in all of my classes. I feel passionately about the power of history to train us to be sensitive and thoughtful people aware of the wondrous and beautiful diversity of humanity, and history's power to lead us to be citizens who democratically own and thereby contribute to our government in a positive way for the benefit of humanity.

My abiding research interest is in understanding aspects of the origins and historic nature of nation states. However, this may not be immediately apparent in my CV section. Sometimes my research is about pre-national political economy because understanding it properly helps bring the historicity of nations into greater relief and understanding. The region of the world which I research most is Tosa, modern day Kochi Prefecture in Japan. It is a richly green mountainous land facing the Pacific Ocean on the southern half of the Island of Shikoku. I dearly love the place and its frank and friendly people.