Laura Nenzi, associate professor of history, is a specialist in the social history of early modern Japan. She recently received a prestigious fellowship for the Spring semester of 2014 from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey for her second book project, The Chaos and Cosmos of Kurosawa Tokiko.
This project examines the life of a nineteenth-century Japanese peasant woman, Kurosawa Tokiko. A rural teacher, poet, and fortuneteller, Tokiko became a political activist in the 1850s. Fluent in the language of prophecy, she cast herself as the interpreter between the chaotic world of humans and the orderly world of the gods.
Nenzi previously received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete her first book, Excursions in Identity: Travel and the Intersection of Place, Gender, and Status in Edo Japan (2008).