Luke Franks

Associate Professor of History, Chairperson, Department of History


+1 630 637 5561

I teach a variety of courses at North Central that explore the significance of East Asia in the modern world.  Within the History department I offer classes on Japan, transnational/world history, and direct the Captsone student research program; I'm also active in the college's interdisciplinary programs including History of Ideas (HOI) and Global Studies (GLS), and Chair of the Department of History.  I've had the pleasure of working with new students in my first-year seminars on island geography and global film, and have also had the opportunity to lead student trips to China and Japan.  

My research interests focus on the emergence of Japan's modern bureaucratic system out of the feudal samurai order, and in particular how this process played out at the regional and local levels in places like Okinawa prefecture.  Recent publications include:

Franks, Luke. 2022. “Ulysses S. Grant and the Governors: Local Politics on Display in Early Meiji Japan.” Studies on Asia 7 (1): 49-69.  https://studiesonasia.scholasticahq.com/article/36726-ulysses-s-grant-and-the-governors-local-politics-on-display-in-early-meiji-japan

Franks, Luke. 2017. The Politics of Stalemate: Local Power, U.S. Military Bases, and the Japanese Courts. ASIANetwork Exchange: A Journal for Asian Studies in the Liberal Arts, 24(2), pp.56–69. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/ane.242