Academic Activities

Selected Presentations
The Transmission of Omission: Understanding Japan’s 14th-15th Centuries Through Altered Histories
Princeton University
February 20, 2020

Fraternal Succession, Fictive Naming and Trade: Ōuchi Rule in Early Fifteenth Century Japan
Princeton University
February 12, 2020 

The Warrior Culture of Medieval Japan
Johannes Gutenberg Universitat Mainz
December 18, 2019
Part of a lecture series, “Non-European Cultures of War in the Pre-Modern Period” for "Byzantium and the Euro-Mediterranean Cultures of War. Exchange, Differentiation and Reception” (https://grk-byzanz-wars.uni-mainz.de/ )

Miners, Traders and Multiethnic Kings: Uncovering a Lost History of Japan (1400-1570)
Princeton University Davis Center Works in Progress                                  December 4, 2019
University of Pennsylvania                                                                            December 6, 2019 

From the Ground Up: Refining Views of Japanese History (750-1550) Through Mining
Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton
November 25, 2019

Japan, Europe and East Asia: Interactions and Transformations from the Mongol Invasions (1274, 1281) to the “Closure” of Japan
Lecture for Professional Development Course Japan Goes Global: History and the Impact of International Exchange
Japan Society, New York
October 19, 2019 

New Views of Japanese History: The Case of the Ōuchi
Seattle Museum of Art
October 4, 2019 

The Brush and the Sword: Ways of Writing and Fighting in Medieval Japan
Seattle Museum of Art
October 3, 2019 

The Journey of the Sakuramotobō Documents to Princeton
Presented at the Symposium New Trends in the Study of Medieval Japanese Documents.
Princeton University
July 25, 2019 

Ōuchi Yoshitaka no sento keikaku: mō hitotsu no sengoku jidai [Ōuchi Yoshitaka’s Plan to Move the Capital: New Views of the Warring States Era]
Yamaguchi, Japan
May 26, 2019

Apotheosis, Sacred Space, and Political Authority in Japan 1486-1599
Central European University, Budapest
January 15, 2019

Kings in All But Name: Ritual, Religion and Ōuchi daimyō of Western Japan 1350-1550
University of Vienna
January 14, 2019

Understanding Ōuchi Genealogies: Thoughts on the Political and Ritual Ramifications of the Oldest Surviving Version.
Workshop on Visual and Textual Lineages in Premodern East Asia
Princeton University
May 5, 2018

In the Eye of the Beholder: On the Experience of “Colorblindness”
Princeton University
March 1, 2018

The Story of Slag: Copper Mining in Ancient and Medieval Japan
Princeton University
February 7, 2018

Law and Violence in Medieval Japan
Delaware Valley Medieval Association, Princeton
December 9, 2017

Japan’s Magna Carta: The Jōei Code of 1232
The Baronial Order of the Magna Carta, Princeton
October 21, 2017

Kings in All but Name: The Ōuchi and the Age of Yamaguchi 1408-1551
University of British Columbia
September 21, 2017

The Question of the ‘Rise of the Warriors’ during the Warring States Era
Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation seminar The Making of the Samurai in Tokugawa Japan  Engelsberg Ironworks
May 18, 2017

Of Prophecies and Histories: Toward A New Understanding of Fifteenth-Century Japan and the “Ōnin War” (1465-78)
Princeton University
February 8, 2017

The Arms and Armor of the Samurai
Opening lecture Frist Center for the Visual Arts
November 4, 2016

Digital Documents: Possibilities for Research, Teaching, and Dissemination
Princeton University
March 4, 2016

The Creation of a Japanese Scenery: From the Northern Mountains (Kitayama) to the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji)
Princeton University
February 10, 2016

When Men Become Gods: The Ritual Basis for Political Authority in Japan 1351-1551
Princeton University
February 3, 2015
Columbia University
April 16, 2015

The Age of Yamaguchi (1465-1551): Toward A New Understanding of Japanese History
The Third Annual Joint Fudan-Princeton-Tokyo University International Conference
December 15, 2013

The Aborted Attempt to Move the Emperor to Yamaguchi: 1551 as a Turning Point in Japanese
History.
Princeton University East Asian Studies Department Colloquium Series
October 23, 2013

Samurai, Arms, and Armor
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
April 24, 2013

Imagining the Wars of Thirteenth Century Japan
Williams College
March 8, 2013

From Ad Hoc to Ongoing: The Mongol Invasions and the Institutionalization of Authority of Japan
Presented at Conference, Mongols on the Margins, UCLA
http://www.international.ucla.edu/apc/centralasia/article/130661
February 22, 2013

Ritual Mimesis and Performative Sovereignty in Fourteenth-Century Japan
University of Southern California
February 21, 2013

Kings in All But Name: Japan in the Age of Ōuchi Dominion 1408-1551
Yale University Council of East Asian Studies
October 4, 2012

One More Kakitsu Disturbance (in Japanese)
Kyoto saikyojō kenkyūkai
July 8, 2012

New Directions in the Study of Pre-Modern Japan
Modern Japan Workshop Roundtable Discussion, Harvard University.
October 23, 2010

The Two Paths of Writing and Warring in Medieval Japan
Presented at the University of British Columbia Workshop “Civilian vs. Military in East Asia.”
August 23, 2010

Where West Meets East: The Courtly Warriors of the Kamakura Age
Presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Philadelphia.
March 27, 2010

Ritual Determinism in Fourteenth-Century Japan
Presented at Columbia Center for Japanese Religion Purity Workshop, Columbia University.
February 19, 2010

The History You Do Not Know: My Journey to Medieval Japan
Karofsky Faculty Encore Lecture, Bowdoin College.
http://www.bowdoin.edu/podcasts/audio/CH/common-hour-thomas-conlan.mp3
September 11, 2009

Sovereign Authority and the Medieval Japanese State
Presented at the Symposium, “Text and Context: New Directions in Medieval Japanese Literary and Historical Studies,” Bowdoin College.
May 9, 2009

Judicial Function of Violence in Japan (1200-1598)
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Atlanta (April 5, 2008)
and University of Massachusetts Amherst (March 9, 2013)

Visualizing the Past Through the Mongol Scrolls
Presented at the Symposium “Reinventing the Past: Antiquarianism in East Asian Art and Visual
Culture,” Franke Institute, University of Chicago.
November 4, 2006

On War and Judicial Violence in Medieval Japan
Presented at the Symposium “War and Politics in Medieval Japan,” Kyoto.
March 16-18, 2006

Myth, Memory and the Mongol Invasions of Japan
March 1, 2006
(Emory University), September 22, 2006 (Brandeis College) March 18, 2008 (University of
Pennsylvania), October 23, 2009 (Duke University).

Adapting to Endemic War: Fourteenth Century Improvements in Arms and Armor
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Diego.
March 7, 2004

Courtly Archivists of Precedent and Political Authority in Japan 850-1350.
Presented at a Workshop “Experts and Expertise in Pre- and Early Modern Societies,” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
October 6, 2001

From Sovereign to Symbol: A Liturgy of Legitimation in Fourteenth Century Japan.
Presented at “Reconstructing Medieval Japan: A Symposium in Honor of Jeffrey P. Mass,”
Stanford University.
May 5, 2001

The Role of Women and Weapons in Medieval Japanese Warfare.
Presented at the Symposium of Comparative Medieval History, University of San Francisco
April 14, 2000

In Little Need of Divine Intervention.
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, San Diego.
March 11, 2000

The Culture of Force and Farce: Fourteenth Century Japanese Warfare.
Presented at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University and The Donald Keene Institute, Columbia University.
September 24, 1999 and March 20, 2000

Innovation or Application? The Role of Technology in War.
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Asian Studies, Boston.
March 13, 1999

Largesse and the Limits of Loyalty: Lordly Obligations in the Age of Two Courts.
Presented at a Symposium on Fourteenth Century Japan, Hertford College, Oxford University.
September 2, 1994

 

Other Academic Activities:

Helped design a professional development course: Medieval Japan: People & Systems in the World of the Shogunate and gave four lectures on Japan from the Warring States through Unification, Japan Society, New York, December 2, 2017

Interviewed for the Podcast “Meiji at 150.”
https://meijiat150.arts.ubc.ca/podcast/ 

Organized and served as a discussant for the conference Issues Regarding Religion and Society in Ancient and Medieval Japan (日本古代中世の社会と宗教と言説), Princeton University, November 4, 2017

Appeared on the National Geographic specials Warrior Graveyard: Samurai Back from the Dead (aired March 23, 2012), Samurai: Behind the Blade (aired December 2, 2003) and the History Channel special Samurai (televised December 8, 2003), along with the Discovery channel special Ancient Assassins (February 12, 2017). In addition, was interviewed by Newsday for an article about the Mongol Invasions of Japan (December 17, 2002) and appeared on the radio program “These Days” station KBBS, San Diego, December 4, 2003. Have also been interviewed by Muy Historia (January, 2016), the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the LA Times, and the Sacramento Bee concerning the warrior culture of Japan and by Michael Kuhne for an Accuweather article (Nov. 21, 2014) “Archaeological evidence sheds light on Japan’s legendary kamikaze winds” http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/kamikaze-typhoon-japan-geologic-evidence/37534675

Curated “Japan and the World,” A Becker Gallery Exhibit at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, October 6-November 8, 2009

Chair, Asian Studies Program, Bowdoin College January 2004 - 2007

Joined a Japan Foundation round table discussion, "On the past, present, and future of Japanese Studies" on July 8, 2002. Published in Kokusai Koryu no. 97 (10.2002), pp. 68-79.