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Ronald Loftus

Professor of Japanese

Headshot of Ronald Loftus

Contact Information

Salem Campus

Walton 147
900 State Street
Salem  Oregon  97301


PhD, Modern Japanese History, Claremont Graduate School, 1975

MA, International Relations, Johns Hopkins S.A.I.S., 1968

BA, Political Science, George Washington University, 1966


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 Willamette; 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.


Modern Japanese History, especially late nineteenth and early twentieth century.


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

Books — Edited and Authored

In the Pacific Interest: Rethinking the Past, Defining the Future, edited by William G. Berberet and Ronald P. Loftus. Willamette Journal of the Liberal Arts Supplemental Series 3 (1990). (Collection of Conference Papers)

Telling Lives: Women’s Self-Writing in Modern Japan, University of Hawai'i Press, (2004). 2006 winner of the Kanner Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians for the best book on women’s autobiography.

Changing Lives: The ‘Postwar” in Japanese Women’s Autobiographies and Memoirs, Association for Asian Studies, Asia Past and Present: New Research from AAS (Association for Asian Studies, 2013)

The Turn Against the Modern: The Critical Essays of Taoka Reiun (1870-1912). Asia Past and Present: New Research from AAS (Association for Asian Studies, 2017)

Journal Articles

"Depicting Women: Reading Atsugi Taka's Memoirs of a Female Documentarist," in Janice Brown and Sonja Arntzen, eds., Across Time and Genre: Reading and Writing Women's Texts, Conference Proceedings, University of Alberta, 2002, 33- 36. (Refereed)

“Hidden Stories of Ourselves: Reading Japanese Women's Autobiographies,” Harvard Asia Quarterly, IX: 1&2 (Spring 2005), pp. 42-50. (Refereed)

“Choosing Career, the Single Life and Feminism: Reading Kishino Junko's Memoir, Things Visible from a Woman’s Perspective,” MP: A International Online Feminist Online Journal 1:3 (September, 2005). (Refereed)

“Finding New Pathways: Japanese Women and the End of the Pacific War,” Japan Studies Association Journal, Vol. 8, 2010: 146-164.(Refereed)

Willamette University

Chinese and Japanese Department

Willamette University
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6015 Japanese Studies
503-370-6256 Chinese Studies
503-370-6720 fax