Skip to content

Ryan Moran | Assistant Professor

Ryan Moran

Ryan Moran
Assistant Professor

Curriculum Vitae




Ryan Moran is a historian of modern Japan whose research broadly investigates how scientific forms of knowledge impacted the establishment of new types of social organization. My first book, Selling the Future, looked at how the Japanese life insurance industry utilized discourses of futurity and community to suture the crisis that accompanied Japan’s expansion as a colonial and capitalist nation-state. I am currently engaging in a new research project which explores how scholars deployed the sciences of physiology, nutrition, and psychology to understand the problem of labor alienation in interwar Japan. 


  • BA, History, Reed College
  • MA, History, University of California, San Diego
  • CPhil, History, University of California, San Diego
  • PhD, History, University of California, San Diego

Research Focus

Modern Japan, capitalism, science, empire, gender, labor.

Key Publications

Selling the Future: Community, Hope, and Crisis in the Early History of Japanese Life Insurance (Ithaca, NY.: Cornell University Press, Forthcoming).

Delivering Security in Modern Japan: Postal Life Insurance and Social Unrest,” positions: asia cultures critique 26 no. 4 (2018).

Securing the Health of the Nation: Life Insurance, Labor, and Health Improvement in Interwar Japan,” Japan Forum 31 no. 2 (2019).


HIST 1510: World History
HIST 3100: Historian's Craft
HIST 3520: Premodern Japan
HIST 3530: Modern Japan
HIST 3540: The Japanese Empire
HIST 4070: History of Science in Asia
HIST 4990: Crisis in Modern Societies


American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2020

Social Science Research Council/Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2016-2018

D. Kim Foundation for the History of Science and Technology in East Asia, Dissertation Fellowship, 2013

Fulbright IIE Graduate Research Fellowship, 2011

Japan Foundation Doctoral Fellowship, 2011 (declined)


Last Updated: 10/4/23