Claire Cooper

Japanese History
Email Address:
  • A.M. in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University
  • B.A. in Japanese Studies from Georgetown University

Claire Cooper is a Ph.D candidate specializing in early modern Japanese history. Her research focuses on global trade, the commodification of imported goods, and the public marketplace. Her dissertation entitled “Brought by the Dutch: Buying and selling imported commodities in Early Modern Japan” analyzes a variety of material, visual, and discursive sources related to trade and interaction between the Japanese and the foreign group on Deshima, with an emphasis on goods and ideas that were accessible to a wider Japanese public beyond elite scholars and government officials. In doing this, she seeks to broaden and complicate the concept of “Dutch” in eighteenth and nineteenth Japan by demonstrating the many ways in which the term was reflective not of a European country but rather the Indian Ocean network maintained by first the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and later the Dutch East Indian government.

In addition to earning her Masters and Bachelor degrees, Claire also completed language programs in modern and classical Japanese at Keio University and Doshisha University, and in early modern and modern Dutch at Columbia University and Utrecht University. During the 2016-17 year, she conducted research at Tokyo University’s Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, which was supported by a Fulbright IIE Grant.