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Jack Hammersmith

Professor Emeritus of History


  • Teaching Fellow (UVa)          1965-1967
  • Assistant Professor (WVU)   1968-1973
  • Associate Professor (WVU)  1973-1996
  • Acting Chair (WVU)              1976’ 1978-79
  • Chair (WVU)                         1979-1983
  • Professor (WVU)                  1996-2016
  • Professor Emeritus               2016-Present

Teaching Fields

  • U.S. History since the Civil War
  • Modern Japan
  • Modern China


  • B.A. Northwestern University  (1963)                                                                   
  • M.A. University of California (1965)
  • Ph.D. University of Virginia   (1970)

Research Interests

  • U.S.-Japanese relations, (early Meiji [late 19th century])
  • U.S. diplomatic history


“Ohio’s John A. Bingham in Meiji Japan: The Politician as Diplomat,” Ohio History,  126:1 (Spring 2019), 58-71.

“James Morton Callahan and the Great War: A Crisis of Conscience or An Occasion for Patriotism?” West Virginia History, New Series, Vol. 9; No. 1 (Spring 2015), 47-64.

“James Morton Callahan: “The Making of a West Virginia Historian.” West Virginia History, New Series, Vol. 5; No. 1 (Spring 2011), 25-52.

“Japanese-North Korean Relations After the Second Pyongyang Summit of 2004,” North Korean Review, Vol. 4; No. 1 (Spring 2008), 74-90 (with Hong N. Kim).

“Japanese-North Korean Relations under the Fukuda Government,” Korea and World Affairs, Vol. 32; No. 3 (Fall 2008), 318-43 (with Hong N. Kim).

“Diplomatic Traditions that Echo across a Century,” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era  3:3 (April 2004), 205-10. “John Armor Bingham” in Leonard Schlup and James G. Ryan, eds., Historical Dictionary of the Gilded Age (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2003), 41-42.

“Japanese-North Korean Relations in the Post-Kim-Il-Sung Era,” Korea and World Affairs, XXIV; 4 (Winter 2000), 590-618 (with Hong N. Kim). 

Spoilsmen in a "Flowery Fairyland": The Development of the U.S. Legation in Japan, 1859-1906. Kent, Ohio:  Kent State University Press, 1998.

"In Defense of Yalta: Edward R. Stettinius's Roosevelt and the Russians," Vol. 100 (July 1992) Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 429-454.

"Henry Cabot Lodge" in Research Guide to American History 3 vols. Washington,  D. C.: Beacham Publishing, 1988), II, 959-64.

"John Watson Foster: "A Pacifist After a Fashion," Indiana Magazine of History LXXXIV (June 1988), 117-133.

"Sino-American Relations in the Post-Normalization Era, 1979-1985," Pacific Affairs, LIX (spring 1986), 69-91 (with Hong N. Kim).

"Henry Lawton," in Roger J. Spiller, ed., Dictionary of American Military Biography, II (3 vols.; Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1984), 589-592.

"Frank Borzage," in John A. Garraty, ed., Dictionary of American Biography,Supplement Seven (1961-1965) New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981, 65-66. "Raising the Battleship Maine," Industrial Archaeology, XV (Winter 1980), 318-329.

"Yen Appreciation and Japanese-American Trade Relations,"  Proceedings of the First International Symposium on Asian Studies, 1979 II, 397-403 (with Hong N. Kim).

"Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Polish Question, and the Election of 1944," Mid-America LIX (January 1977), 5-17.

"American Attempts to Prevent a War Over 'Vietnam': The Experience of John Russell Young, 1882-1885," The Historian XXXVIII (February 1976), 253-268.

"The U.S. Office of War Information (OWI) and the Polish Question," The Polish Review XIX (January-March 1974), 67-76.

"West Virginia, the 'Heathen Chinee,' and the 'California Conspiracy,'" West Virginia History XXXIV (April 1973), 291-296.

"The Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95: American Predictions Reassessed," Asian Forum IV (January-March 1972), 48-58.

Selected Awards and Professional Service

John R. Williams Outstanding Teacher Award, WVU Honors Program, 1998 and 2000.

Finalist,  Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia Professor of the Year Award, 1999. 

Golden Apple Outstanding Teacher Award, Golden Key Honor Society, 1993 and 1997.

Panhellenic Council Exceptional Professor, 1997.

West Virginia CASE Professor of the Year, 1992. (Council for the Advance and Support  of [Undergraduate] Education).

Northeast Asia Council, Association for Asian Studies: for sabbatical research, 1991.

Outstanding Professor, 1989-90, by West Virginia University Foundation.

Outstanding Teacher, 1989-90, College of Arts and Sciences, West Virginia University.

Director, FACDIS (Faculty & Course Development in International Studies [in WV]), 2001-16 ; co-director, 1997-2001; associate director, 1996-97.

Co-Director, "Modern Japan and the Traditions Which Have Shaped Her." $75,000 grant to take 11-13 WV public school teachers from WV on six-week study tour of China and Japan. (Subsequently, because of the Tiananmen crisis, modified to a five-week study tour of Japan only.) Funded by U.S. Department of Education, Group Projects Abroad. (1989).

Co-Director, "Chinese Culture: Traditional Foundations and Revolutionary Modernization--A Summer Seminar Program." (with Professor Sophia Peterson) $16,000 grant for summer seminars for public school teachers in Cabell, Kanawha, Marion, Monongalia, and Ohio counties, funded by U.S. Department of Education, Group Projects Abroad (1986).

Fulbright Senior Lectureship, Japan, 1982-1983. (Tokyo University; Foreign Service Training Institute of the Japanese Foreign Ministry; International Christian University).

Managing Editor, International Journal of Korean Studies (2000-10; 2011-15). Associate Editor, Asian Pacific Review (1989-92). Editorial Advisor for the Scholar's Guide to Washington, D.C., for East Asian Studies (The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution, 1979).  Assistant Editor, Asian Forum (1972-1974).

Member, Outstanding Senior/Order of Augusta Committee (2003-06).

Faculty adviser, Helvetia (WVU sophomore honorary) (1994-2016).

Member, WVU Fulbright/Marshall Scholarship Committee (1996-2010).

Exchange Professor, Gifu University, Gifu, Japan (2000).

Member, Mountain (honorary for leadership and service at WVU), 1996-prersent).

Rotary International (1989-present).