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Aaron Peters, PhD

Lecturer, History & Humanities
Phone number
(403) 407-9491
Email Address


My research brings together postcolonial theory and critical studies on the Japanese and British Empires, revealing the connections between imperialism, nationalism, and internationalism by highlighting the encounters and exchanges between Japan and South Asia during the 19th and 20th centuries. I am particularly interested in the idea of Pan-Asianism and the role it played in both the expansion of the Japanese Empire and the development of anti-colonial nationalism in the Asia-Pacific region. The Japan-South Asia encounter is a fascinating case to explore in that is has become the dominant mode of empire in our contemporary era. An imperialism of client-states that is evident in the failed nation-building projects of the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, China’s aggressive expansion of economic and infrastructural aid in the developing world, and Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

My broader teaching and research interests include modern Asian history, transnational history, comparative colonialisms, diaspora studies, and war memory. Over the past few years, I have taught survey courses in world history where I critique Eurocentric assumptions about non-Western societies and introduce students the idea that in some way or another, we are all products of the events and ideas that have shaped our world.

Outside of teaching and research I enjoy spending time with my family, serving at Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), reading, listening to podcasts and music, and watching movies. My wife, Joy, is a Japanese-language translator and we have worked on a few translation projects together. Our most recent project was the Japanese subtitling for King of Glory (2014) – a Christian film produced by Rock International.

Current Research

Indian nationalists who sought Japanese support in overthrowing British rule and attempted to rally the Indian diaspora in East and Southeast Asia behind Japan’s Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere during the Second World War.

Conference Presentations

“Bringing India to Form: Hatano Uho and the Indian Rebellion of 1857” Scottish Center for Global History Blog. University of Dundee. June 2017

“Disentanglement: India and the Occupation of Japan: 1945-1952” May 2017


PhD (University of Toronto)
MA (York University)
BA (Tyndale University)

Signature Courses

HI 140 – Themes in World History
HUM 101 – Reading and Writing for University
HI 299- Japan and the World

Select Publications

“Japanese Past, Nepalese Future: Interwar Pan-Asianism and NepalJapan Relations” (tentative title). Trans-Imperial History Blog. University of Erfurt. (July 2023)
“Comparisons and Deflections: Indian Nationalists in the Political Economy of Japanese Imperialism, 1931-1938." Cross-Currents: East Asian History and Culture Review, Volume 8, Number 2: Beyond Comparison: Japan and Its Colonial Empire in Transimperial Relations: 548-587. (March 2021)