Montana State University

Department of History and Philosophy

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172320
Bozeman, MT 59717-3440

Tel: (406) 994-4395
Fax: (406) 994-7420
Location: Wilson Hall 2-155

Department Chair

Dr. David Cherry

Brett Walker, Regents Professor

Current SemesterWalker

Spring 2014 Courses:

HSTR 205CS: The World Environment (online)
HSTR 340: Age of the Shoguns

Advising: History, Japan Studies, Graduate Program

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 1:00-3:00pm, and by appointment

Office: Wilson 2-160

Phone: (406) 994-5201



Curriculum Vitae: Click Here

Courses Taught: Click Here

Research Interests

Environmental History
Japanese History
History of Science and Medicine


Ph.D.  Japanese History, Department of History, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, 1997   
Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Letters, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, 1995   
M.A. East Asian History, Department of History, Portland State University, Portland, OR, 1993   
B.A. History, The Albertson College of Idaho, Caldwell, ID, 1989   

Awards, Honors, and Affiliations

George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book in Environmental History, American Society for Environmental History (2010).

Regents Professor, Montana University System (2007-Current).

Principal Investigator for “Technological Symmetry and Hybrid Environments at the Ashio and Anaconda Copper Mines.” NSF Social Studies of Science, Engineering, and Technology Grant for Collaborative Research submitted with Prof. Tim LeCain (2007-2010).

Co-Director, International Studies Title VI Grant, Department of Education (2008).

Meritorious Research Award, College of Letters and Science, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT (2007).

Charles & Nora L. Wiley Faculty Award for Meritorious Research, Office of the Provost, Montana State University (2006).

Leopold-Hidy Award for best article published in journal Environmental History, American Society for Environmental History (2005).

J. William Fulbright Graduate Research Fellowship, Japan-United States Educational Commission, Tokyo, Japan (1995-97).


ToxicArchipelagoWalker Conquest of Ainu Lands Lost Wolves AINUSpiritofaNorthernPeopleWalker JapanimalsWalker Walker book cover ConquestofAinuWalker EnvironmentalHistoryWalker

In progress:

Ian Jared Miller, Julia Adeney Thomas, and Brett L. Walker, ed. Japan at Nature’s Edge: The Environment of a Global Power (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, scheduled 2013).

Brett L. Walker, 「自然環境の発見」 (The Discovery of the Natural World), Vol. 4, in 「日本の思想」 (Japanese thought), 8 vols. (Tokyo: Iwanami Koza, scheduled 2013).

Brett L. Walker, A Concise History of Japan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, scheduled 2014).


2010    Toxic Archipelago:  A History of Industrial Disease in Japan, foreword by William Cronon (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010; paperback reprint, 2011; Kindle, 2012). Winner: George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book in Environmental History, American Society for Environmental History.

2010    「絶滅した日本のオオカミーその歴史と生態」。 北海道大学出会。 2010年1月発行。 (Translation of The Lost Wolves of Japan.)

2007    「蝦夷地の征服(1590-1800)―日本の領土拡張にみる生態と文化」。 北海道大学出会。2007年4月発行。(Translation of The Conquest of Ainu Lands.)

2005    The Lost Wolves of Japan, foreword by William Cronon (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005; paperback reprint, 2007; Kindle, 2009). Nominated: George Perkins Marsh Prize (ASEH), John King Fairbank Prize (AHA), and John Whitney Hall Prize (AAS).

2001    The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590-1800  (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001; paperback reprint, 2006). Nominated: John Whitney Hall Prize (AAS).

Edited volumes:

2005    Gregory Pflugfelder and Brett L. Walker, ed. JAPANimals: History and Culture in Japan’s Animal Life (Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2005).

Book chapters:

2006    “The Ecology of Ainu Autonomy and Dependence,” in The Indigenous Experience: Global Perspectives, ed. Roger C.A. Maaka and Chris Andersen (Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc., 2006), 45-71.

2005    “Foreign Affairs and Frontiers in Early Modern Japan: A Historiographical Essay,” in Image and Identity: Rethinking Cultural History, ed. Jeffrey E. Hanes and Yamaji Hidetoshi (Kobe: Institute of Economics and Management, Kobe University, 2005).

1999    “Foreign Contagions, Ainu Medical Culture, and Conquest.” In Ainu: Spirit of a Northern People, ed. William W. Fitzhugh and Chisato Dubreuil (Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution and University of Washington Press, 1999), 102-7.

1996    Foreword to William Smith Clark: A Yankee in Hokkaido, by John M. Maki. Sapporo: Hokkaido University Press, 1996.

Refereed articles:

2007    “Mamiya Rinzō and the Japanese Exploration of Sakhalin Island: Cartography, Ethnography, and Empire,” Journal of Historical Geography 33, no. 2 (April 2007): 283-313. This article was also posted with a new introduction on Japan Focus on February 3, 2008.

2007    “Sanemori’s Revenge: Insects, Eco-System Accidents, and Policy Decisions in Japan’s Environmental History,” Journal of Policy History, Special Issue: New Perspectives on Public Health Policy, James Mohr, Editor 19, no. 1 (2007): 113-44.

2004    “Meiji Modernization, Scientific Agriculture, and the Destruction of Japan’s Hokkaido Wolf,” Environmental History 9, no. 2 (April 2004): 248-74.

2001    “Commercial Growth and Environmental Change in Early Modern Japan: Hachinohe’s Wild Boar Famine of 1749.” Journal of Asian Studies 60, no. 2 (Spring 2001): 329-51.

1999    “The Early Modern Japanese State and Ainu Vaccinations: Redefining the Japanese Body Politic, 1799-1868.”  Past and Present 163 (May 1999): 121-60.

1996    “Reappraising the Sakoku Paradigm: The Ezo Trade and the Extension of Tokugawa Political Space into Hokkaidō.” Journal of Asian History 30, no. 2 (December 1996): 169-92.

Solicited articles:

2002    “Foreign Affairs and Frontiers in Early Modern Japan: A Historiographical Essay,” Early Modern Japan: An Interdisciplinary Journal 10, no. 2 (Fall 2002), 44-63.  This article will also appear as a chapter in Jeffrey E. Hanes and Yamaji Hidetoshi, eds., Image and Identity: Rethinking Cultural History (Kobe: Institute of Economics and Management, Kobe University, 2005).

2001    “The History and Ecology of the Extinction of the Japanese Wolf,” Japan Foundation Newsletter 29, no. 1 (October 2001): 10-13.

Encyclopedia entries and miscellaneous publications:

2008    “Borders and Borderlands: East Asia.” In Encyclopedia of the Modern World, ed. W. Dean Kinzley (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

2003    “Wolf (Canis lupus lycaon).” In Encyclopedia of American History: Colonization and Settlement, 1608–1760, Vol. 2, eds. Billy G. Smith and Gary B. Nash (New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2003), 405-6.

2003    “Shinto.” In Encyclopedia of World Environmental History, vol. 3, eds. Shepard Krech III, John R. McNeill, and Carolyn Merchant (New York: Routledge, Inc., 2004).