Professor Annika A. Culver

Project Curator

Professor of East Asian History, Florida State University (FSU); Scholar, US-Japan Network for the Future

Dr. Annika A. Culver

Professor Annika A. Culver is a tenured Professor of East Asian History at Florida State University (FSU), where she specializes in Japan and Northeast Asia-related topics. She received her doctorate at the University of Chicago, and holds an AM in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University, and a history degree from Vassar College.

Dr. Culver also serves as a scholar in Cohort II of the US-Japan Network for the Future, and has taught at the University of Chicago, Peking University, Skidmore College, and the University of North Carolina. Her research interests include Manchuria/Manchukuo, Japanese cultural imperialism, wartime politics and the arts in East Asia, propaganda/advertising, gender and consumption, Sino-Japanese relations, and US-Japan relations. Dr. Culver led the digitization and archivization of the Oliver L. Austin Photographic Collection, which features scenes from Tokyo under the US Occupation from the viewpoint of a Harvard-trained ornithologist working for SCAP who was close to the imperial family.  She won the 2012 William F. Sibley Memorial Translation Prize, and has received grants and fellowships including the D. Kim Foundation for the History of Science and Technology, US Institute for International Education (Fulbright Grant), Japan Foundation (Research Fellowship), Kajima Foundation (Book Subvention), Association for Asian Studies (First Book Subvention; China and Inner Asia Council Travel Grant), and the Institute for Advanced Study (Visitor Affiliation). 

For more information, please visit Professor Culver's FSU faculty page

Kyle Bracken

Graduate Assistant

Kyle Bracken assisted with this archive while a doctoral student of American History at Florida State University (Ph.D. 2020) and was a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. His research explored the environmental history of the U.S. Army campaigns for New Guinea during World War II. In 2013, Kyle helped digitize Oliver Austin’s extensive photographic collection for use in this website. Additionally, Kyle presented work on Dr. Austin and Japan’s wildlife policies at the 2015 Society for Military History Annual Meeting. In Spring 2016, Kyle Bracken served as a Grants in Engaged Learning (GEL) mentor for the ASH 3382 US-East Asia course at FSU, where he helped students research captions for images related to the Occupation.

Hillary Sebeny

Graduate Assistant

Hillary Sebeny assisted with this archive while a doctoral student in American History at Florida State University. Her dissertation featured Rear Admiral Richard Byrd and American exploration of the Antarctic in the first half of the twentieth century. Hillary also helped digitize the Oliver Austin Deep Freeze photographs, in addition to designing the first edition of the Austin website in 2014. The Austin photographs of Antarctica will play a prominent role in her doctoral research. In Spring 2016, Hillary Sebeny served as a GEL mentor for ASH 3382 students, who she helped research captions for images related to the Antarctic Deep Freeze Expedition.

Nat Jones

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Assistant

Nat Jones directed the promotional video for this digital archive while an undergraduate student at Florida State University majoring in Biology and Art History during their UROP assistantship.They studied Chinese and also learned Japanese while at FSU, and while in high school, created four documentaries for the National History Day Competition, one of which placed seventh in the nation, of which one concerned Japanese internment following World War II. They were a Presidential Scholar at FSU, a National Merit Scholar, a Garnet and Gold Scholar, and also completed the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Additionally, they created the opening documentary on the Austin Collection which can be found on the archive's home page, and which included faculty interviews conducted with Christopher Westfall.

Christopher Westfall

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Assistant

Christopher Westfall was an undergraduate student at FSU, who transferred to Vanderbilt University, where he concentrated in Political Science and Spanish. He graduated from Taipei American School with the International Baccalaureate diploma.

Gonzalo Scharager

Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Assistant

Gonzalo Scharager was an undergraduate student at Florida State University concentrating in Biology and Japanese. He graduated from Suncoast Community High School with the International Baccalaureate diploma.

Japanese Researchers and Scholars

Location Sleuths

A team of Japanese enthusiasts took the initiative to freely volunteer their own time to begin a mapping project of the locations of the images in the Oliver L. Austin Collection, which range from the Tokyo area to Hokkaidô. Researchers include Mr. Yoneno Masayuki, an architect; Professor Sato Yoichi (佐藤洋一), a historian of urban development; Mr. Komoto Takao, a building maintenance engineer; and other members of their Facebook group. Their project can be seen at Tokyo Mapped.

Identification of Images

Noriko Sakoh (佐光紀子), an independent scholar who has written numerous books for a general audience on the Allied Occupation of Japan, has kindly shared her research on the various locations where Dr. Austin traveled on his expeditions to examine Japanese wildlife after the war.

Hiraoka Takashi (平岡考), an ornithologist and specialist at the Yamashina Institute for Ornithology (YIO), has helped identify geographical areas, islands, and other locations where Dr. Austin conducted his ornithological research, including Torishima, whose albatrosses he believed extinct.

Sharon Austin

Web Design Assistant

Sharon Austin wrote HTML, CSS and PHP to assist with the look and feel of The Oliver L. Austin Photographic Collection website; additionally, she is one of the granddaughters of Oliver L. Austin. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and currently works primarily as a user experience designer.