Michael Masatsugu

Associate Professor and Director of American Studies


Contact Info

MW 12:30-1:30,
and by appt.


Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 2004

Areas of Expertise

Modern Buddhism, U.S. Diplomacy in Asia, Asian American History, History of Migration


Dr. Masatsugu joined the History Department in 2007 and serves as Director of the Program in American Studies. His current research is concerned with the production and circulation of knowledge about Buddhists and Buddhism that emerged in reports of U.S. State Department officials, the writings of Area Studies scholars, and in the publications of Asian lay Buddhists from the mid-1940s through the early-1960s. His first manuscript examines Japanese American Buddhist struggles for inclusion and community in the aftermath of forced incarceration during World War II and amidst the politics of the Cold War.

He is currently involved in an oral history project with Dr. Ashley Todd-Diaz, Librarian for Special Collections and University Archives, and the Towson University Retired Faculty Association (TURFA).  He has been involved with Baltimore based community service projects including the Rotating History Project, the Northwood Appold Community Academy, and the Baltimore Immigration Summit.

Works in Preparation

Cold War Diplomacy and the Buddhist World

Buddhism and the Making of Postwar Japanese America (Under Review)

Selected Publications:

"'Haiku on the Road’: Albert Saijo's contested historical legacy." Amerasia Journal 39:3 (Winter, 2013), 58-82.
“‘Bonded by Reverence toward the Buddha’: Asian Decolonization, Japanese Americans and the Making of the Buddhist World, 1947-1965.” Journal of Global History 8:1 (March, 2013), 142-64.
“‘Beyond this world of transiency and impermanence’: Japanese Americans, Dharma Bums and the Making of American Buddhism in the Early Cold War Years.”Pacific Historical Review 77:3 (August, 2008), 423-51. Winner, Arrington-Prucha Essay Prize, Western History Association



FALL 2021
HIST 146 History of the United States Since the Civil War
HIST 300 Introduction to Historical Study
HUMA 631 History of Historical Thought
HUMA 898 Humanities Thesis