Professor Ryo Morimoto recently wrote a commentary for CAS (Critical Asian Studies) on the 10th Anniversary of the March 11, 2011 Triple Disaster in Northeastern Japan. Morimoto shares a letter to “Grandma,” a long-time resident of coastal Fukushima, focusing on the personal experiences and relationships of local residents.
- Wednesday, Mar 24, 2021
Environmental anthropology, feminist science studies, cultural and political anthropology of China; political ecology, meteorology and atmospheres, governance, engineering, aesthetics, materialism
- Through his ethnographic research, Morimoto aims to create a space for and language to think about nuclear things and other contaminants as part and parcel of what it means to live in the late industrial and post-fallout era, rather than as alien species that must and should be held at a distance from humans. Morimoto is currently working on a book project, tentatively titled The Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihood in Fukushima’s Gray Zone. This book integrates environmental anthropology, recent Japanese history, and science and technology studies to understand the uses and applications of technologies in social processes whereby certain sensory-cognitive experiences are (im)materialized. Morimoto uses the term “nuclear ghost” to analyze the struggles of representing and experiencing low-dose radiation exposure in coastal Fukushima, where individual, social, political and scientific determinations of the threshold of exposure are often inconsistent.
- Ranjini Obeyesekere taught for several years in the Literature and Society Program of the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Her teaching and research focus on literary works, specifically of the South Asian area, their sociopolitical impact, and the insights they provide into the society and culture. Her publications include Sinhala Writing and the New Critics, An Anthology of Modern Sri Lankan Writing (coeditor), Jewels of the Doctrine, and articles on ritual drama and performance. She has also published translations of Sri Lankan poetry and fiction. At Princeton, Dr. Obeyesekere taught a course on colonialism and South Asian culture, using literary works to highlight specific issues.
- Gananath Obeyesekere has engaged in fieldwork in Sri Lanka and India. He is most interested in psychoanalysis and anthropology and the ways in which personal symbolism is related to religious experience. He has recently become interested in European voyages of discovery to Polynesia in the 18th century and after, and the implications of these voyages for the development of ethnography. His books include Land Tenure in Village Ceylon, Medusa's Hair, The Cult of the Goddess Pattini, Buddhism Transformed (coauthor), The Work of Culture, The Apotheosis of Captain Cook: European Mythmaking in the Pacific, and Making Karma. Professor Obeyesekere teaches classes in psychoanalysis and anthropology, hermeneutics, social anthropology, and Buddhism.
- Amy Borovoy is a cultural anthropologist who studies modern Japanese society and culture. Her work has focused on health care and mental health in the context of Japan’s social democracy, with an emphasis on family and corporate welfare. She has written on the cultural construction of alcoholism and codependency in The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependence, and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan (University of California 2005), which explores the problem of male alcoholism and the role of the housewife and domesticity in public life. Borovoy's work on the phenomenon of hikikomori (young adults who isolate themselves at home) explores resistance to the medicalization of youth issues among psychiatrists, social workers, and teachers. Borovoy has also written "Japan as Mirror: Neoliberalism's Promise and Costs,” in Ethnographies of Neoliberalism (Carol J. Greenhouse, editor), “The Rise of Eating Disorders in Japan: Issues of Culture and Limitations of the Model of ‘Westernization’” co-authored with Kathleen Pike, and “Decentering Agency in Feminist Theory” with Kristen Ghodsee. Her current manuscript in progress, Japan in American Social Thought, explores postwar Japan studies as a space in which to imagine alternatives to liberalism and individualism in American anthropology and the social sciences.