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Naoko Wake, Ph.D.

Naoko  Wake
  • Professor
  • History, Philosophy & Sociology of Science
  • Department of History
  • Director, Asian Pacific American Studies Program
  • Core Faculty, Peace and Justice Studies Program; Asia Pacific American Studies Program; Asian Studies Center; Center for Gender in Global Context
  • Holmes Hall, W-29
  • 919 E. Shaw Lane
  • East Lansing, MI 48825
  • (517) 884-3928


  • LB 133 Introduction to History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science
  • LB 324A Sex Changes: The History of Sexuality in Modern Science
  • LB 324B Science Genders: Body, Knowledge, and Society
  • LB 492 Madness in History: Real and Imagined
  • LB 492 “Queer” Science and Scientists in the U.S.
  • LB 492 Health, Sex, and Feminism in the Trans-Pacific World


Naoko Wake is a historian of gender, sexuality, and medicine in the Pacific region. She teaches courses related to her interest in international and interdisciplinary understandings of health, illness, and disability that emerged in colonial and postcolonial contexts. She has written on the history of the medical and social sciences in the first half of the twentieth century with a focus on scientific approaches to sexual diversity. Her current work is a historical inquiry into Japanese-American and Korean-American memories of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. By focusing on this particular group of survivors in the United States, and by comparing their experiences to those of Japanese and Korean survivors, she illuminates a history of the bomb that complicates the better-known story of international rivalries and brings to light women’s and patients’ activism.


  • Ph.D., History (U.S. modern history), Indiana University, Bloomington 
    • Minors: History and philosophy of science, European history of philanthropy
  • M.A., History (U.S. modern history), Indiana University, Bloomington
  • M.A., Education (Comparative history of education), Kyoto University, Japan
  • B.A., Education (Comparative history of education), Kyoto University, Japan


  • Wallis Annenberg Award, University of Southern California Libraries, for Bombing Americans, 2018.
  • Oral History Association Best Article Award, for “Surviving the Bomb in America: Silent Memories and the Rise of Cross-national Identity,” 2018.
  • Dibner Research Fellow in the History of Science and Technology, The Huntington Library, for Bombing Americans: Gender and Trans-Pacific Remembering after World War II and “Memories of Illness in the Cold War: A View from Chinese America,” 2018-19.
  • Honorary Faculty Certificate (for teaching excellence from the graduating class of 2015), Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, 2015.
  • Excellence in Diversity Award (Individual—Sustained Effort Toward Excellence in Diversity), Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, MSU, 2015.
  • John K. Hudzik Emerging Leader in Advancing International Studies and Program Award, International Studies and Programs, MSU, 2012.
  • MOSAIC Award, LGBT Resource Center & Alliance of Queer and Ally Students, MSU, 2012
  • Center for Advanced Study of International Development/Women & International Development Program Title VI Course Development Award, CASID/WIDP, MSU, 2010.




American Survivors: Trans-Pacific Memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (London and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Hiroshima/Nagasaki Beyond the Ocean 海を越えたヒロシマナガサキ (co-authored with Shinpei Takeda) (Nagasaki, Japan: Yururi Books, 2014).

Private Practices: Harry Stack Sullivan, the Science of Homosexuality, and American Liberalism (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2011).


“Homosexuality and Psychoanalysis Meet at a Mental Hospital: An Early Institutional History,” Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Vol. 74, No. 1, January 2019, pp. 34-56.

“Atomic Bomb Survivors, Medical Experts, and Endlessness of Radiation Illness” in eds. Janet Brodie, Vivien Hamilton, and Brinda Sarathy, Inevitably Toxic? Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise (Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018): 235-258.     

“The ‘Hiroshima Maidens’ on Different Shores: De-centralizing Scarred Japanese Femininity in the A-bomb Victimhood,” Gender and History, Vol. 33, No. 2, June 2021.


Asian America’s Fear, Anger and Isolation is Rooted in US History,” The Hill, “Asian America’s Fear, Anger and Isolation is Rooted in US History,” The Hill, https://thehill.com/opinion/civil-rights/546116-asian-americas-fear-anger-and-isolation-is-rooted-in-us-history.

“American Survivors of Atomic Bombs,” Q13 Fox Seattle, https://www.q13fox.com/video/929565

"Private Practices," New Books in History, http://newbooksnetwork.com/naoko-wake-private-practices-harry-stack-sullivan-the-science-of-homosexuality-and-american-liberalism-rutgers-up-2011/

“American Citizens in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” C-SPAN American History, https://www.c-span.org/person/?naokowake