Peter Siegenthaler

Peter SiegenthalerSenior Lecturer

Curriculum Vitae

A graduate of Swarthmore College (BA 1984), the University of Pennsylvania (MA 1989), and the University of Texas at Austin (MA 1998, PhD 2004), Peter Siegenthaler specializes in the social, cultural, and political contexts for historic preservation and heritage tourism in postwar Japan. His PhD dissertation, “Looking to the Past, Looking to the Future: The Localization of Japanese Historic Preservation, 1950–1975,” investigates the origins of three local preservation movements in the 1950s and 1960s, to establish a historical basis for the sudden prominence of “townscape preservation” (machinami hozon) movements across Japan in the 1970s and since. His current research expands that project to look back at the role of the Allied Occupation in the refashioning of heritage preservation in Japan in the late 1940s and to look more deeply at the cultural and political dynamics that informed the promotion of historic preservation in smaller Japanese cities in the 1950s.

Dr. Siegenthaler began his teaching career in the Department of Radio-TV-Film at UT-Austin, where his courses focused on the interrelationships of film and history in Japan, China, and Korea over the course of the twentieth century. He came to Texas State in the fall of 2004 and has taught both parts of the Western Civilization and World History surveys, as well as specialized courses on Modern Japan, postwar Japan, Japanese urban life, identity in Central Asia, and East Asian tourism. Before teaching fulltime, Dr. Siegenthaler worked for more than a decade in the publishing industry, serving as an editor for Oxford University Press, SR Books, and The American Poetry Review.

Courses Taught

Texas State Department of History

IST 2312 | World Civilization to 1715
A general survey of world civilization from the 17th Century to the present.

HIST 2320 | World Civilization to Date
A general survey of western civilization from the Treaty of Utrecht to the present.

HIST 4344 | Modern Japan, 1600 to Present
A survey of the political, social, economic, and intellectual history of Japan from 1600 to the present. Focus on the radical changes in the
state, society, and economy in the 19th and 20th centuries and on the impact of these changes on Japan’s status in the world today.

HIST 4350F | History of Postwar Japan
This course explores Japan’s development from the 1940s through the 1970s. Emphasis is on the continuities and discontinuities from the wartime to the postwar regime, American influence on policies and discourses on post-occupation society, the legacies of the war
in culture and society, and the repercussions of economic affluence.

HIST 4350D | Empire and Identity in Central Asia
This course explores the historical development of local, ethnic, and national identity in Central Asia from the 13th-century Mongol conquest to the present. The course concludes with explorations of the transnational links within the region and the challenges and possibilities for the five Central Asian republics in the post-Soviet era.

Texas State Honors Courses

HON 3394C | Japanese Urban Experience
Anchored by the world’s largest city, Edo, in the 18th century, Japanese society has long been shaped by a vibrant and distinctive urban culture. Using as primary texts readings in history, anthropology, literature and urban studies, as well as feature films, this course offers a historical look at the notable characteristics of the Japanese city.

HON 3394I | Tourists and Hosts in Contemporary East Asia
Tourism in East Asia is growing at a remarkable rate. Looking at both its contemporary conditions and historical development, this course uses several disciplines to introduce students to the dynamics surrounding tourism in East Asia at the opening of the 21st century.

HON 3396N | American History Through Memoir: From the End of Reconstruction to the Present Day
Engagement with recent American history through the study of memoirs from a broad range of viewpoints.

Additional Courses

RTF 370 | Space and Place in the East Asian Film
RTF 370 | The Postwar Japanese Film
RTF 370 | Japanese New Wave(s)  
RTF S345 | History of the Japanese Film: Styles, Genres, Movements