His first book, The Politics of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan, (Chicago: U of Chicago Press, 2013) outlines a general theory of the transformation in modes of subject-formation from the Tokugawa regime (1603-1868) to Japan’s first modern state, the early Meiji government, through an analysis centered on the regulation of popular culture. His current book project examines the correlative operations of capitalism and racism in the making of modern Japanese imeprial nation. Taking the colonization of the Ainu people as the locus of analysis, the project explores the relation between the state’s drive for primitive accumulation (deterritorialization and reterritorialization of Ainu lands) and the construction and implementation of racial categories through academic (linguistic and economic) and legal discourse. The project ultimately seeks to deepen our understanding of the history of Ainu experiences through the perspectives of global histories of empire, capitalism, and settler colonialism. Hirano is also co-editing a translation volume with Professor Gavin Walker, entitled The Archive of Revolution: Marxist Historiography in Modern Japan. This volume will be the first major introduction of the rich yet long neglected Japanese Marxist historiography that played the decisive role in the formation of critical social science in modern Japan from the late 1920s to the 1970s. Lastly, Hirano has been conducting a series of interviews with the people who have been invloved in the anti-nuclear, pro-democracy, and environmental movements after the Fukushima nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011. Some interviews have been published in English in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus.
Hirano received BA in political theory from Dōshisha University (Japan), MA in cultural studies/international studies from the University of Birmingham (UK), and Ph.D in history from the University of Chicago. He was a member of history department at Cornell University before joining UCLA in 2013. He organizes the annual workshop The Trans-Pacific Workshop with American and Japanese colleagues at UCLA.
The Politics of Dialogic Imagination: Power and Popular Culture in Early Modern Japan (Chicago: U of Chicago Press, Chicago Studies in Practices of Meaning series, 2013) (Japanese translation is in progress)
Book manuscript in progress in both English and Japanese: 『「他者の到来」の歴史（学）―“アイヌ”とポストコロニアル的考察』（仮題） (Toward the History of The Coming of the Other: On the “Ainu” and Postcolonial Reflections) (under consideration).
Edited volume: The Archive of Revolution: Marxist Historiography in Modern Japan, 1930s-1980s. (co-edited with Gavin Walker) (under consideration).
Book Chapters and Articles
Journal Article: “ヘーゲルの亡霊と民衆史のアポリア ー 安丸歴史学の認識論的前提の問題をめぐって” (Hegel’s Spector and Aporia of People’s History: On the Epistemological Premise of Yasumaru’s Historical Works) in 『安丸良夫特集ー民衆思想史とはなにか』『現代思想』9月号 Special Issue on Yoshio Yasumaru, Contemporary Thought September Issue (Tokyo: Seidosha 青土社, August 2016). (Invited)
Book Chapter: “Settler Colonialism in the Making of Japan’s Hokkaidō” in Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism edited by Ed Cavanagh and Lorenzo Veracini (London: Routledge, August 2016)
Journal article: "アイヌ = 「滅びゆく民族」と生存への祈り- コロニアルな翻訳” (an expanded and revised version of “The Politics of Colonial Translation: On the Narrative of the Ainu as a “Vanishing Ethnicity” in Japanese) in みすず 8 月号 Misuzu August Issue (Tokyo: Misuzu shobo みすず書房, 2016) (refereed)
Journal article: "Thanatopolitics in the Making of Japan's Hokkaido: Settler Colonialism and Primitive Accumulation" in Critical Historical Studies vol. 2, no. 2 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015) (refereed).
Journal Article: "A Reflection on Uemura Takashi's Talk at UCLA" in Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (Ithaca NY: April, 2015) www.japanfocus.org/-Katsuya-Hirano/4363/article.html (Invited)
Book chapter: "訳者あとがき - 帝国と"帝国"のゆくえ” (Afterword: The Future of Empire and “Empire”) in 『アメリカ＜帝国＞の現在 － イデオロギーの守護者たち』（Empire’s New Clothes）by Harry Harootunian (Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, みすず書房 2014)
Journal Article: "カルチュラル・スタディーズの汚らしさ － ステュアート・ホールの政治”（"Dirtiness of Cultural Studies - Stuart Hall's Politics"） in Special Issue on Stuart Hall in 思想 5月号 Shiso May Issue (Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 岩波書店 2014）(Invited)
Book chapter: “The Dialectic of Laughter and Tosaka’s Critical Theory” in Ken Kawashima and Robert Stolz eds., Tosaka Jun: A Critical Reader (Ithaca: Cornell East Asia Series, 2014)
Journal article: “Politics and Poetics of the Body in Early Modern Japan” in Modern Intellectual History Vol. 8. Issue 3 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, November, 2011) (refereed)
Journal article: “The Politics of Colonial Translation: On the Narrative of the Ainu as a “Vanishing Ethnicity”” in The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (New York, 2009). (refereed). Reprinted in The Japanese Empire: Colonial Lives and Postcolonial Struggles, Kirsten Ziomek ed., Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus Course Reader no. 8 (2013).
Journal article: “江戸の遊びと権力” (On Play and Power in Late Tokugawa Edo) in みすず no.565 Misuzu（Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, みすず書房, 2008）
Book chapter: “編訳者あとがき ― 現代の苦境を切り開く過去との対話” (Afterword: Dialogue with the Past to Live Through the Predicament of Modernity) in Doing 思想史 by Tetsuo Najita (Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, みすず書房、2008)
Book chapter: “Social Networks and Production of Public Discourse in Edo Popular Culture” in Elizabeth Lillehoj (ed.) Acquisition: Japanese Arts and Their Owners (New York: Floating World Edition, 2007)
Book: Translator of Empire’s New Clothes (『アメリカ<帝国>の現在 － イデオロギーの守護者たち』）by Harry Harootunian (Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, みすず書房, 2014)
Book: Editor and translator of Doing 思想史( Doing Intellectual History) by Tetsuo Najita (Tokyo: Misuzu Shobo, みすず書房 2008)
Interview with Muto Ruiko, "We need to recognize this hopless scene.... To recognize that this horrible crime is what our country is doing to us," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 14, Issue 17, No 4. Semtember 1, 2016. Katsuya Hirano's Interview with Muto Ruiko
Interview with Koide Hiroaki (with Hirotaka Kasai), "The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is a Serious Crime", The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 14, Issue 6, No. 1, March 15, 2016. “The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster is a Serious Crime”: Interview with Koide Hiroaki
Interview with Murakami Tatsuya, former mayor of Tōkaimura (Tōkai Village), "Fukushima and the Crisis of Democracy" The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue 20, No. 1, May 25, 2015 ://japanfocus.org/-Katsuya-HIRANO/4320/article.html
Interview by Blouin Media on Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's Nationalism and his Politics (LA: March 20, 2014) Link:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSF_ywzq5MU
Current Courses by Term
Previous Courses by Term
Introduction to Historical Practice: Variable Topics in East Asian History
Previous Courses by Course
Medieval Japan: Social and Cultural History
2016 Spring Quarter
Topics in History: Theory of History
Introduction to Asian Civilizations: History of Japan
Topics in World History
2016 Winter Quarter
Advanced Historiography: Japan
2015 Winter Quarter
Japanese History: Early Modern, 1600 to 1868
2015 Winter Quarter
Japanese History: Ancient, Prehistory to 1600