Ikuko Asaka

Associate Professor, History

Personal profile

Research Interests

Nineteenth-centuty US; gender, race, and sexuality; US imperialism 

I am a historian of the nineteenth-century United States. My research takes transimperial, interimperial, and international approaches. My first book examines the intersections of settler colonialism and Black removal efforts (e.g. Liberian colonization) and illuminates the centrality of languages of climate, race, and gender to intellectual debates over geographies of Black freedom. 

I am currently working on two projects: one exploring early U.S. imperialism in the Pacific, and the other historicizing representations of Asianness and their relationship to gender binary. 


PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Gender and Women's History Program, 2010


Honors & Awards

Conrad Humanities Scholar, 2021-2026

Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professors Award, 2016-18

New Faculty Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies, 2012-13


Summer Stipend, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2020  

Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society, 2020


HIST171 U.S. History to 1877
HIST285 U.S. Gender History to 1877
HIST316 Global Histories of Gender                                                  HIST317 Birth of U.S.Empire                                                              

Office Address

419C Greg Hall
810 S. Wright St.
M/C 466
Urbana, IL 61801


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