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Kären Wigen

Frances & Charles Field Professor in History
PhD in Geography, UC-Berkeley, 1990

Kären Wigen teaches Japanese history and the history of cartography.  A geographer by training, she earned her doctorate at the University of California at Berkeley. Her first book, The Making of a Japanese Periphery, 1750-1920 (1995), mapped the economic transformation of southern Nagano Prefecture during the heyday of the silk industry. Her second book, A Malleable Map: Geographies of Restoration in Central Japan, 1600-1912 (2010), returned to the ground of that study, exploring the roles of cartography, chorography, and regionalism in the making of modern Shinano.  An abiding interest in world history led her to co-author The Myth of Continents (1997) with Martin Lewis. She also introduced a forum on oceans in history for the American Historical Review and co-edited Seascapes: Maritime Histories, Littoral Cultures, and Transoceanic Exchanges (2007) with Jerry Bentley and Renate Bridenthal. Her latest book is another collaboration, Time in Maps: From the Age of Discovery to Our Digital Era, coedited with Caroline Winterer (2020).




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Global, Transnational, and International History
Social History
Spatial History and Historical Geography