Spotlight on East Asian Studies: Healthy Environment? Thinking About the Nuclear Accident in Fukushima, Japan

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Main Library
Second Floor - Veterans Room

Event Details

Gain deeper understanding and appreciation, expand your knowledge base, and reconsider some ideas you might already have about East Asia through this continuing academic lecture series, in partnership with UChicagoGRAD and the Center for East Asian Studies with generous support from a Title VI National Resource Center Grant from the United States Department of Education.

The ongoing saturation of our bodies and environments with chemicals, pesticides, radiation, PM2.5, and microplastics has made environmental health a central issue of our time. What does it mean to live “well” in a time and place where environmental toxicity has become the very fabric of our everyday life? After the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011, people have taken divergent paths to ensure their health and well-being. Some people have evacuated and procured food from afar, while others have returned to previous evacuation zones and actively circulated local produce. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the case in Japan, and explore their own experiences of health and environmental toxicity in the greater Chicago area.

Hiroko Kumaki is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She is a recipient of a PATHS/Area Studies Centers Public Lectureship Prize from UChicagoGRAD and the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago. Her research examines the everyday experiences and ethics of living with environmental toxicity and focuses on the policies and practices of health in the aftermath of the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan. She has conducted 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in and outside of Fukushima, examining the responses to radioactive contamination across different actors, including the activists, public health practitioners, citizen scientists, and residents in and near the evacuation zone.

Mark your calendar for the other upcoming events in this series at the Main Library, 2-3 pm:


Event Type(s): Arts & Culture
Age Group(s): Adults
Presenter: Hiroko Kumaki
(708) 383-8200 ext. 0