Robert Hellyer

Associate Professor, Wake Forest University

Robert Hellyer teaches courses on Japan, East Asia, and world economic history. He grew up outside of Tacoma, Washington and first developed an interest in Japanese history while teaching in Yamaguchi prefecture as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. He later served on the faculty of the University of Tokyo, taught at Allegheny College, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University before coming to Wake Forest.

A historian of early modern and modern Japan, Professor Hellyer has explored foreign relations from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, research presented in a monograph, Defining Engagement: Japan and Global Contexts, 1640-1868 (Harvard University Asia Center, 2009), and in several journal articles and book chapters. He is currently researching Japan’s role in the global tea trade of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a project for which he received Smithsonian, Japan Foundation, and NEH fellowships to support research in Japan and the United States.

Professor Hellyer is also a co-organizer of a multi-year research project involving historians in North America, Europe, and Japan that is examining Japan’s Meiji Restoration in advance of the 150-year anniversary in 2018. In the Fall 2015 semester, he served as resident professor at Wake Forest’s Flow House in Vienna.