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Michigan State UniversityLyman Briggs College

People at LBC

Naoko Wake
Naoko Wake, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Department: HPS
Address: W-29 Holmes
Phone: (517) 884-3928

Dr. Wake joined the faculty of Lyman Briggs College in 2005 after completing her graduate degrees at Kyoto University, Japan (MA) and Indiana University, Bloomington (Ph.D.). She has written on the history of the medical and social sciences in the first half of the twentieth century with a focus on interdisciplinary scientific approaches to sexual diversity. Her current work is a historical inquiry into Japanese-American and Korean-American memories of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. By focusing on this particular group of survivors residing in the United States, and by comparing their experiences to those of Japanese and Korean survivors from 1945 to present, she illuminates a history of the Bomb that complicates the better-known story of colonial and post-colonial rivalries and brings to light women’s and patients’ activism in trans-Pacific contexts.

Science, gender, and sexuality
History of medicine
History of mental illness
Doctor-patient relationship
Asian American Studies
Queer Studies
Women’s studies

    2012 -MOSAIC Award, LGBT Resource Center & Alliance of Queer and Ally Students, MSU
    2012 -John K. Hudzik Emerging Leader in Advancing International Studies and Program Award, ISP, Michigan State University
    2010 -CASID/WIDP Title VI Course Development Award, Center for Gender in Global Context
    2005 -Dutton Fellow in Science and Technology Studies, Lyman Briggs College

    Michigan State University, (Naoko Wake), Interrogating Inclusion: Exploring Knowledge and Practice in Relation to Disability, Race, and Sexual Orientation [2011 -2012] $11,000

    2011 “Gender and Science in Hiroshima’s Aftermath: A Cross-cultural Approach,” Endeavour, Vol. 35, No. 4, December 2011, pp. 178-186.
    2009 'The ‘American’ Psychoanalytic Hospital in the Making,' Harvard Review of Psychiatry 17.5 (October 2009): 344-50.
    2008 'On Our Memory of Gay Sullivan: A Hidden Trajectory,' Journal of Homosexuality 55.1 (2008): 150-65.
    2008 'Sexuality, Intimacy, and Subjectivity in Social Psychoanalytic Thought of the 1920s and the 1930s,' The Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology 18.2 (2008): 119-30.
    2007 'The Military, Psychiatry, and 'Unfit' Soldiers, 1939-1942,' Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 62.4 (October 2007): 461-94. (Note: This article appeared in Japanese translation as 'America Senjikiniokeru Seishinigakuto ‘Futekikaku’na Heishitachi (1939-1949),' Kyoikushi-Forum [History of Education Forum] 2 (April 2007): 1-31.)
    2006 'The Full Story by No Means All Told: Harry Stack Sullivan at Sheppard-Pratt, 1922-1930,' History of Psychology 9.4 (2006): 325-58.


Private Practices: Harry Stack Sullivan, the Science of Homosexuality,<br />and American Liberalism book image
Private Practices: Harry Stack Sullivan, the Science of Homosexuality,
and American Liberalism
Private Practices examines the relationship between science, sexuality, gender, race, and culture in the making of modern America between 1920 and 1950, when contradictions among liberal intellectuals affected the rise of U.S. conservatism. Naoko Wake focuses on neo-Freudian, gay psychiatrist Harry Stack Sullivan, founder of the interpersonal theory of mental illness. She explores medical and social scientists' conflicted approach to homosexuality, particularly the views of scientists who themselves lived closeted lives.

Wake discovers that there was a gap--often dramatic, frequently subtle--between these scientists' "public" understanding of homosexuality (as a "disease") and their personal, private perception (which questioned such a stigmatizing view). This breach revealed a modern culture in which self-awareness and open-mindedness became traits of "mature" gender and sexual identities. Scientists considered individuals of society lacking these traits to be "immature," creating an unequal relationship between practitioners and their subjects. In assessing how these dynamics--the disparity between public and private views of homosexuality and the uneven relationship between scientists and their subjects--worked to shape each other, Private Practices highlights the limits of the scientific approach to subjectivity and illuminates its strange career--sexual subjectivity in particular--in modern U.S. culture.
Pages: 280
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Date Published: March 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0813549583