About Steven Wills

I specialize in the social, cultural, and environmental history of urban Japan in the early modern and modern periods, with a focus on fires and firefighting in Edo-Tokyo. Since 2010, I have been a member of the history department at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where I teach a variety of courses on the history of Japan, China, and East Asia. I started contributing to the New Books Network as a host of the East Asian Studies channel in 2018.

NBN Episodes hosted by Steven:

Japanese Studies November 10, 2020

The Iconoclast

Shinzo Abe and the New Japan

Tobias Harris

Hosted by Steven Wills
Abe Shinzō is seen today through many lenses: as the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan; as a pragmatic leader with a consistent policy vision and a commitment to the art of statecraft; as a nationalist whose strong historical revisionist beliefs led him to make inflammatory moves that opened old wounds and antagonized Japan’s neighbors. In his new biography, The Iconoclast: Shinzō Abe and the New Japan (Hurst …
Literary Studies October 20, 2020

A History of Taiwan Literature

Christopher Lupke (trans.)

Hosted by Steven Wills
Ye Shitao was a Taiwanese public intellectual who rose to prominence in the second half of the twentieth century. His encyclopedic A History of Taiwan Literature was published in 1987 …
American Studies December 11, 2018

Resurrecting Nagasaki

Reconstruction and the Formation of Atomic Narratives

Chad R. Diehl

Hosted by Steven Wills
The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki both play a central role in any narrative of the end of the East Asia-Pacific War in 1945, yet Hiroshima has consistently drawn …