Richard Rice taught Asian History as well as World History and other topics from 1974 to 2012. His original focus was Japanese Economic History, but later in his career Rice researched Asian ethnic minorities and human rights, including a recent interest in the fate of Uyghurs in Xinjiang. A nationally published cartoonist since 1975, Rice also taught seminars on Cartoon History. In retirement his cartoons appear in the Wall Street Journal, and he began a new career as a watercolor painter in 2015. His work has appeared in local art shows and his paintings have been chosen for both Tennessee and Georgia Watercolor Society Member Exhibitions 2017-2019. His latest academic work (on the Uyghurs) appeared in Spring 2019. Rice travels frequently both here and abroad, but Chattanooga continues to be his base.

Rice was active in academic organizations, serving as President of the Southeast Conference of Asian Studies in 1993, and Local Arrangements Chair of the SEC/AAS in 1987 and 2002. He served as UTC Faculty Secretary 1999-2004, President of the UTC Faculty Senate 2004-2006, and as Faculty Member of the UT Board of Trustees. He was Assistant Director of the Honors College, 1987-1992, and Director of the UTC Japan Project 1985-1999 and the Asia Program 1999-2012. These programs created both print and video teaching materials, and trained hundreds of teachers nation-wide through seminars and study tours to Asia. He was a very successful grant writer, with $2 million in external grants for the Honors College, the Asia Program, as well as nineteen awards for research and teaching.


Ph.D., Harvard University (History and East Asian Languages), 1974 

M.A., Harvard University (Regional Studies: East Asia), 1971

M.A., University of Illinois (European History), 1967

B.A., Portland State University (History), 1966

Award Highlights

1977: Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar in India

1983: Fellow, St. Antony’s College, Oxford University

1994: Director, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad, Indonesia

1995: Mombusho Research Travel Grant

1998: NEH Summer Institute on World and Environmental History, UC Santa Cruz

2001: Director, Freeman Foundation/Columbia University Asia Study Tour

2005: NEH Summer Seminar on Human Rights in an Age of Globalization, Columbia University

2010: NEH Summer Seminar on Interwar Shanghai and Berlin, Stanford University

Publication Highlights

Rice published over twenty articles on Japanese Economic History in The Journal of Asian Studies, Willamette Journal of the Liberal Arts, International Labor and Working-Class History, Current Politics and Economics of Japan, Southeast Review of Asian Studies, and the on-line Virginia Review of Asian Studies. His most cited and reprinted article is “Economic Mobilization in Wartime Japan” in The Journal of Asian Studies (1974) and most controversial is “Thank God for the Atom Bomb?” in Education About Asia (2006). He contributed many chapters to books on Japanese History and one on 19th century cartoon history. He was also a frequent contributor to many study guides and two video series, Tune in Japan (1995) and Tune in Japan II (1997) produced and distributed nation-wide by Columbia University.

Selected works available online:

"Big Brother Speaks Mandarin: Ethnic Eradication in Xinjiang," Virginia Review of Asian Studies 21 (2019), 46-53.

"Continuing Ethnic Strife In Xinjiang: China’s Struggle With Uyghur Identity Politics," Virginia Review of Asian Studies 20 (2018), 51-63.

"Ainu Recognition and the Shiretoko Natural Heritage Designation," Virginia Review of Asian Studies (2010).

"Racial and Ethnic Imagery in 19th Century Political Cartoons," in Seeking a Voice: Images of Race and Gender in the 19th Century Press, ed. David B. Sachsman, S. Kittrell Rushing, Roy Morris Jr. (Purdue University, 2009).

Thank God for the Atom Bomb?” in Education About Asia (2006).

Cartoon Highlights

Cartoon by Richard Rice
Cartoon by Richard Rice