Dr Hajimu Masuda is a Visiting Research Fellow with the Beyond the Cold War Project and will be at the Centre in Michelmas Term 2020. His fellowship was originally due to begin in March 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic.
An overarching theme of my research is the evolving power of the people, regardless of political spectrum or geography. I pay particular attention toward ordinary people's violence and the recurrent rise of grassroots social conservatism in the globalized world of the twentieth century. Along this line, I have three projects that I would like to develop in Cambridge in 2020. First, I would like to focus on writing my book manuscript, tentatively titled “Purity and Order: Social Warfare in Wartime and Cold War Japan,” which reveals various social and cultural struggles that were silenced in the name of patriotism and anticommunism in the first half of the twentieth century. Second, I will work on editing an anthology, “Reconceptualizing the Cold War: On-the-ground Experiences in Asia,” which examines ordinary people's social conflicts, culture wars, and ethnic and religious strife, often waged in the name of the Cold War, in various parts of Asia, such as Japan, China, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and East Timor. Third, I hope to develop a co-authored (with Dr. Muhammed Kunhi) book project on the themes of “Reconsidering the Naxalite Movement in Kerala, India,” exploring local tribal politics and caste struggles that were often waged through communist and anticommunist rhetoric. Through these projects, overall, I would like to explore the ways in which we can narrate twentieth century history not only through the perspectives of empire, state, and policymakers, but from a social point of view concerning ordinary people's struggles concerning what kinds of societies to construct in the turbulent and globalizing twentieth century world.
Masuda Hajimu (family name Masuda) is a historian at the National University of Singapore (NUS). His work concerns the modern history of East Asia, the history of American foreign relations, and the local and global history of the Cold War. He is the author of Cold War Crucible: The Korean Conflict and the Postwar World (Harvard University Press, 2015). An overarching theme of his research is the evolving power of the people, regardless of political spectrum or geography, with particular attention toward ordinary people's violence and the recurrent rise of grassroots social conservatism in the globalized world of the twentieth century. He is the Principal Investigator of the NUS-based three-year project, “Reconceptualizing the Cold War: On-the-ground Experiences in Asia,” which aims at the creation of oral history archives on the themes of the Cold War and decolonization in Asia. This project examines “social warfare” among ordinary people, including diverse social struggles, culture wars, and personal strife, as well as various ethnic and religious conflicts, often waged in the name of the Cold War. Currently, he is working on his second book manuscript, tentatively titled “Purity and Order: Social Warfare in Wartime and Cold War Japan.” He received his PhD from Cornell University in 2012. He was a residential fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC from September 2017 to May 2018, and is a visiting fellow at CRASSH and Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge from March 2020 to November 2020.