PhD Studentship in Modern Japanese History

Oleg Benesch's picture

Dear All,

I would like to draw your attention to a fully funded PhD studentship in Japanese History here at the University of York in the UK.

The Department of History at the University of York is delighted to invite applications for a three-year PhD Studentship to consider any aspect of the history of insects, insect control, and insecticides in modern Japan (19th and 20th centuries). The project would suit a candidate with an interest in fields such as the history of science, technology and medicine, social history, environmental history, cultural history or economic and business history. Candidates will need a good reading knowledge of Japanese.

PhD proposals could encompass any of the following, and are not limited to this list:

  • the construction of insects as ‘pests’
  • insecticides and the home
  • disease control and insecticides
  • the history of natural insecticides such as pyrethrum (derived from chrysanthemum)
  • the impact of DDT
  • insecticides, war and empire
  • cultural history of insects
  • insecticides and industrial development
  • the marketing and advertising of insecticides in Japan.
  • scientific innovation in insecticides (the mosquito coil is a Japanese invention).

The student will be part of the Wellcome Trust-funded project 'The Chemical Empire: A New History of Synthetic Insecticides in Britain and its Colonies, c 1920-1970', headed by Dr Sabine Clarke. The PhD will be jointly supervised by Dr Clarke ( and Dr Oleg Benesch ( and will be based in the Department of History at the University of York. Informal enquiries to one or both of the supervisors are warmly encouraged.

Further details regarding the studentship and the application process can be found here:

The deadline for applications is midnight (BST) on Friday 31 January 2020. Please feel free to share this advertisement with colleagues and students, and I'm very happy to answer any questions at:

Best regards,



Oleg Benesch, PhD FRHistS
Senior Lecturer in East Asian History (Associate Professor)
Department of History | University of York
Now out from Cambridge University Press: