Ronald Loftus

Professor of Japanese Language and East Asian History

Ronald P. Loftus grew up in various parts of the world including India, France, Italy and Thailand. He graduated high-school from the International School of Bangkok and returned to Washington, D.C., to attend George Washington University. After graduating and earning a Master’s Degree from Johns Hopkins SAIS, Loftus entered the Ph.D. program in modern Japanese history at Claremont Graduate School. Since 1977, he has been teaching Japanese language, literature, film, and history at the university level. Research interests include late Meiji social and intellectual history and "self-writing" --- autobiographies and memoirs -- by 20th century Japanese women. He has published two books on the subject: Telling Lives (University of Hawaii press, 2004) on the interwar years and Changing Lives (Association of Asian Studies, 2013) on postwar Japan. In 2013, he was a participant in "Sex, Gender, and Society: Rethinking Modern Japanese Feminisms," a conference held at Emory University. on April 19-20, 2013. The conference featured presentations by Japanese Studies specialists engaged in innovative research intended to further our understanding of the diversity and evolution of Japanese feminist thought and activism from the Meiji period to the present day.

From 1997-2003, Professor Loftus was the director of the Northwest Language Consortium, a project funded by the Mellon Foundation in order to enhance the use of technology in foreign language teaching and learning, and since 2012, he has been Co-Director of the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE) supported by the Luce Foundation. The project will involve faculty and students at Willamette, Tokyo International University in Saitama, Japan, and the American Studies Program at TIUA; there will be post-sessions in Japan, curriculum development projects, symposia, public lectures, etc. all on the theme of Sustainability in the Pacific Rim. Loftus is also currently Director of the Center for Asian Studies.

Books — Edited and Authored

Loftus, Ron. The Turn Against the Modern: The Critical Essays of Taoka Reiun (1870-1912). Association of Asian Studies, 2017.

Teaching Areas

  • IDS College Colloquium
  • Asia 201 Gateway to Asia
  • History 131 Colloquium: Postwar Japan: Protest and Feminisms
  • History 381 Modern Japan
  • History 445 Postwar Japan
  • Japanese 131-132 Elementary Japanese I and II
  • Japanese 314 Japanese Literature in Translation
  • Japanese 340 Japanese Cinema