Jing Sun


Ph.D. Candidate

Modern Japan, East Asia, World History

Exam Committee: Frederick R. Dickinson (advisor), Siyen Fei, Walter A. McDougall.

Dissertation Committee: Frederick R. Dickinson (advisor), Eiichiro Azuma, Sebastián Gil-Riaño.

Teaching Fields: Modern Japanese history, Late imperial and modern Chinese history, US international history.


Dissertation: Eating by Numbers: Nutrition, Health and the Political Economy of Food in Modern Japan 1880-1945.

This project explores the making of quantitative dietary standards and its socio-economic consequences in modern Japan. I argue that calculating dietary standards paved the way for both micro- and macro-level applications of a quantitative logic to the management of health and food economy in Japanese state and empire. People followed standards of daily nutrient intake for better health; the government compared agricultural production with the necessary calories for the total population; imperial agencies developed nutritional policies and encouraged food industries like colonial fisheries to provide abundant and cheap nourishment. The ideas and practice of calculated eating transformed peoples’ nutritional awareness and dietary habits and reshaped food and nutrition policymaking in modern Japan.


B.A. International Politics, Peking University, China (2013)
B.A. International Liberal Studies, Waseda University, Japan (2013)
M.A. Asia-Pacific Studies, Peking University, China (2016)
M.P.P. Campus Asia Program, The University of Tokyo, Japan (2016)

Research Interests

Politics, socio-economy and diplomacy in modern Japan and East Asia, Empire, Food history, History and sociology of medicine, science and technology, Global Asia.

Courses Taught

Grader: Media History (2011-2, Waseda University, Japan); International Law (2014Spring, Peking University, China); American Diplomatic History since 1776 (2017Fall, UPenn); Comparative Capitalist Systems (2018Spring, UPenn).

TA: Modern American Culture (2018Fall, UPenn); History of Modern China (2019Spring, UPenn).

CV (file)