Julia Mariko Jacoby

Predoctoral Fellow
Predoctoral Fellows are candidates for a doctorate at an accredited university financed in part or in whole by the MPIWG. These scholars carry minor responsibilities (no more than 10% of their time) within their research unit.
Department I
MA, Doctoral Candidate, University of Freiburg
1. Mai 2017 to 31. Dezember 2017

My main research interests are historical disaster research and the globalization of knowledge. Furthermore, I’m specialized in the history of modern Japan in the nineteenth and twentieth century. I graduated with an MA from the Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg in 2013, with my thesis focusing on the media coverage of the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 and the rich history of telling disasters in a narrative form in Japan. Since 2014, I’ve been working on my PhD thesis on the history of disaster preparedness in Japan from the early 1900s until the establishment of a government-run disaster prevention system in the mid-1960s. I’m mainly interested in the global circulation of disaster knowledge and how it was adapted to the Japanese environment. In this context, the role of globally acting experts is very crucial. In addition to this, I’m also interested in the role of concrete for disaster prevention and its success as a building material in the twentieth century.

October 2017
University of Oxford
Tsunami, Typhoons and Total War. Mobilizing Japan against Human and Natural Enemies in the 1930s
September 2017
5th European Network in Universal and Global History, Budapest, Hungary
Industrialiszation, Groundwater-related Land Subsidence and Typhoons in 20th Century Osaka
July 2017
25th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Globalizing Earthquake Knowledge. Translation and Circulation of Japanese Seismology in the First Decades of the 20th Century
November 2016
Shigakkai, University of Tokyo, Japan
“Bōsai” ni kansuru kokusaikyōryoku no seiritsu. Tsunami ni kansuru senmonchishiki no fukyū to “Tsunami” no kokusaika [The Establishment of International Disaster Prevention. The Circulation of Expert Knowledge and the Globalisation of the “Tsunami“]
June 2016
University of Kyushu, Fukuoka, Japan
Taishō-Shōwa zenki no Nihon no Bōsai-shi. Saigai Kyōiku wo Chūshin ni [The History of Disaster Preparedness in Japan in Taisho and Early Showa Times, with Emphasis on Disaster Education]
April 2015
Global History Student Conference, Free University of Berlin
The International Entanglement of Japanese Seismology and Global Translation of Knowledge in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century
June 2014
University of Munich
Der gesellschaftliche Umgang mit dem Großen Kantô-Erdbeben 1923. Wissenskulturen und Expertentum in Japan
Teaching activities
Winter term 2014/2015
University of FreiburgErdbeben und andere Naturkatastrophen im neuzeitlichen Asien, Amerika und Europa
Summer term 2014
University of Freiburg Das Ende der Samurai und der Aufbruch zur modernen Industrienation. Japan und die Meiji-Restauration im 19. Jahrhundert


Max Planck Institute for the History of Science 
Boltzmannstraße 22 
14195 Berlin