← Back to Event List

Lipitz Lecture with Constantine N. Vaporis

Part of our Fall 2023 Humanities Forum


Library and Gallery, Albin O. Kuhn : Gallery

Date & Time

December 6, 2023, 4:00 pm6:00 pm


The College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences presents the Lipitz Lecture:

The Black Ships: Commodore Perry, American Exceptionalism, and the Opening of Japan, 1852-54

Constantine N. Vaporis, Professor, History, and Affiliate Faculty in Asian Studies and Gender, Women's, + Sexuality Studies, UMBC

This talk explores the story of the official American expedition to Japan in 1852-54 to "open" the far-flung country to trade and a western-based diplomatic order. In examining the role that civilians played on the mission, Constantine Vaporis considers their work not only during the trip but also afterwards, as they disseminated information about the mission to a broader American and international audience.

Biography: Constantine N. Vaporis is a Professor of History and Founding Director of Asian Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author of Breaking Barriers: Travel and the State in Early Modern Japan; Tour of Duty: Samurai, Military Service in Edo and the Culture of Early Modern Japan; Nihonjin to sankin kōtai (in Japanese); Voices of the Shogun’s Age: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life in Tokugawa, Japan, 1603-1868 (2nd edition); The Samurai Encyclopedia. A Comprehensive Guide to Japan’s Elite Warriors Class; and (pre-press) Samurai: Stories of Warriors in an Age of Peace.

The Lipitz Lecture is organized by the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

Co-sponsored by the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Photo by Marlayna Demond'11

UMBC is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all students, staff, and visitors. If you would like to request a disability-based accommodation on site or have questions about this event or its location, please contact us at dreshercenter@umbc.edu.