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 currently serve as Coordinator of East Asian Studies (EAS).  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.  My current research projects include an article on Japanese responses to U.S. General and President Ulysses S. Grant's visit to Japan in 1879, and a book on the evolution of Japan's modern prefectural system.