Worcester State University
History & Political Science Department


Martin Fromm

Contact Information
Office: Sullivan 327
Phone: (508) 929-8613
Email: mfromm@worcester.edu


Ph.D. Columbia University
MA East Asian History, Stanford University
BA, Brown University

Areas of Specialization
I became interested in East Asian history during my college years at Brown University, and after graduation deepened that interest during two years of cultural immersion and teaching in China. My college history professors’ sensitive portrayal of the complex dimensions of the human experience, combined with my cultural experience in China, inspired me to pursue the Ph.D. in East Asian history. In my research, my goal broadly is to listen to what historical actors have to say while analyzing the complex cultural, social, and political forces that shape and situate those voices. In my teaching, my primary objective is for students to take hold of history as their own enterprise, as something that is alive and freshly relevant in their lives. Since completing my Ph.D., I have developed my teaching methodology at institutions ranging from the large public state university to the small liberal arts college, and I am privileged now to be working at an institution that combines elements of both.

My research and teaching interests include the cultural and social history of modern East Asia; public/private memory and historical consciousness; migration and diaspora studies; borderlands and frontier; empire and nation; and trauma, reconciliation and healing. My current book project examines how Chinese public and private memories of borderlands and migration relate to issues of political re-invention, state control, and post-trauma healing and reconciliation in twentieth century China. My future research will explore themes of global commerce, science, and the cultural translation of commodities by tracing the development through the twentieth century of the ginseng trade between China and the US. The courses I have designed at both the introductory survey and topical seminar levels employ comparative and global approaches to East Asian history. They explore topics including transnational migration, the formation of modern East Asian identities through travel narratives, and the role of borderlands in East Asia’s modern history of colonialism and nationalism.


"Invoking the Ghosts of Blagoveshchensk: Massacre, Memory, and the Post-Mao Search for Historical Identity.” Joseph Tse-hei Lee and Siu-Keung Cheung,, eds. China's Rise to Power: Conceptions of State Governance. Palgrave-MacMillan, November 2012.

Book manuscript in progress, tentatively entitled Producing the Post-Mao Subject through “Wenshi Ziliao”: Memory, Healing, and Migration to Manchuria.  It examines the politics of memories of early twentieth century migration to China's northeast border with Russia, formerly northern Manchuria, produced out of a state-sponsored oral history project in the early 1980s.  It explores the ways in which the post-Mao state mobilized regional historical memory in a locally mediated process of national healing, reconciliation, and political re-consolidation during the early stages of post-socialist transition, and examines the processes by which a new post-Mao subjectivity was produced through memory construction.


HI 104 World Civ II
HI 105 World Civ III
HI 236 Modern Far East History
HI 450 Special Topics in Asian History


Links of Interest

  Contact Us

  History and Political Science Department
  Worcester State University

  486 Chandler Street
  Worcester, MA 01602

  Sullivan 327

  (508) 929-8162

  (508) 929-8155

DataBridge © WSU, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602
Phone: 508-929-8000