Carnegie Mellon University

Ricky Law

Ricky Law

Associate Professor


Dr. Law developed his passions for researching and teaching modern global and comparative history from his experiences in studying, working, and traveling in Europe and East Asia. He is especially intrigued by the ways various cultures have perceived one another across boundaries and the processes through which certain ideas have found resonance throughout the world. In addition, he has a strong interest in Roman history.

His current book project, supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Japan Foundation, examines the conceptual origins of Japanese-German rapprochement in the two civil societies during the interwar years. It argues that the relatively free 1920s created an opening for opinion-makers in both Japan and Germany to use the mass media to promote closer bilateral relations. His research also reveals that the self-styled experts romanticized the depictions of the other country so much that the race question did not present an insurmountable obstacle to the alliance.

Dr. Law grew up in the Central Coast of California. He studied electrical engineering before attending the University of Göttingen as an exchange student and receiving his B.A. in History and German from the University of California, Berkeley. After graduation he taught English in Hokkaido, Japan as a participant of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in History with a concentration in Global History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Ph.D.: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012


  • “Beauty and the Beast: Japan in Interwar German Newsreels.” Book chapter in Beyond Alterity: German Encounters with Modern Asia. Eds. Qinna Shen and Martin Rosenstock. New York: Berghahn Books, 2014.
  • “Runner-up: Japan in the German Mass Media during the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.” Southeast Review of Asian Studies 31 (2009): 164–180.

Courses Taught

  • Death and Destruction: Genocides and Weapons of Mass Destruction (Global Histories)

Department Member Since: 2013