History Department
History Department

Adam Clulow

Associate ProfessorPh.D., 2008, Columbia University,

Adam Clulow



Adam Clulow is a historian of early modern Asia.  His work is concerned broadly with the transnational circulation of ideas, people, practices and commodities across East and Southeast Asia. Dr. Clulow’s first book, The Company and the Shogun: The Dutch Encounter with Tokugawa Japan, was published in 2014 and received the Jerry Bentley Book Prize for World History from the American Historical Association, the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 2015 Humanities Book Prize, the Forum on European Expansion and Global Interaction 2015 Book Prize, and the W.K. Hancock Prize from the Australian Historical Association.  His second book, Amboina, 1623: Conspiracy and Fear on the Edge of Empire, was published by Columbia University Press in 2019.  Dr. Clulow is also the editor of three books: with Tristan Mostert, The Dutch and English East India Companies: Diplomacy, Trade and Violence in Early Modern Asia (Amsterdam University Press, 2018); with Lauren Benton and Bain Attwood, Protection and Empire: A Global History (Cambridge University Press, 2017), and Statecraft and Spectacle in East Asia: Studies in Taiwan-Japan Relations (Routledge, 2010).

His current research focuses on a number of topics including the deerskin trade between Southeast Asia and Japan in the seventeenth century, claims to possession, East Asian slaveholders in the Dutch empire, corporate genocide in the Banda islands, European ambassadors to Mughal India and the Cocos-Keeling islands. 

Dr. Clulow is also the creator with the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media (CHNM) of the Amboyna conspiracy trial, an interactive Digital Humanities project focused on a famous seventeenth century case involving Dutch officials, Japanese mercenaries and English merchants.  It received the New South Wales Premiers History Award (Multimedia History Prize) in 2017. Along with colleagues at Monash University, he is the developer of the Virtual Angkor project (seen below) which aims to recreate the sprawling Cambodian metropolis of Angkor at the height of the Khmer Empire’s power and influence in the twelfth century.  It received the American Historical Association’s 2018 Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History.  His most recent project, Maritime Asia: War and Trade, introduces students to the multipolar world of seventeenth century maritime Asia.



HIS 364G • The Age Of The Samurai

38405 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM ART 1.110
(also listed as ANS 372)

This course explores the history of Japan via an examination of the complex and ever changing figure of the samurai. The focus is broadly on the period from 1185 to 1867 when Japan was ruled by a succession of warrior regimes but the course will also examine the evolution of samurai images and representations. The central concern is with the changing nature of the historical samurai across this long period and with the constant tension between the ideals put forward about the way of the warrior and the actual realities of samurai life.


Required texts:


Pierre Francois Souyri. The World Turned Upside Down. (New York, NY: Columbia University Press, 2001)


Ikegami, Eiko. The Taming of the Samurai: Honorific Individualism and the Making of Modern Japan (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997)


Constantine Vaporis, ed. Voices of Early Modern Japan: Contemporary Accounts of Daily Life During the Age of the Shoguns (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2013)


Nitobe, Inazo, Bushido, The Soul of Japan: An Exposition of Japanese Thought (Tokyo, 1899), available via archive.org



Attendance, Preparation and Participation – 10%

Annotation of Readings – 10%

First Assignment: Research Proposal: The Pitch, 5%

Second Assignment: Research Paper – 25%

Third Assignment: Research Proposal: Final Submission 25%

Final exam – 25%