I am a cultural anthropologist with research interests that encompass social, political, and environmental challenges in Japan and the world. Broadly speaking, I am interested in the anthropology of disasters and how environmental risk is created, communicated, and negotiated among relevant actors. For the past six years my ethnographic research has been centered on risk communication, governance, and cultural representations of the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe.
Until 2017, I taught in the Center for International Education at Waseda University. As an assistant professor I was involved in projects aimed at the globalization of Japanese higher education. These projects, such as the (G-30) Global 30 Program, and the Waseda Initiatives for the Next Globalization Stage (WINGS), were appointed by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) in order to promote Global Human Resource Development. WINGS aimed to provide Waseda University’s all undergraduate students with opportunities to become global leaders who contribute to the world.
Within this framework, my classes incorporated the perspectives of Active Learning and Student-centered Pedagogy, and emphasized the development of students’ learning abilities and critical thinking skills. The specific competencies of graduates include extensive international knowledge, understanding of different cultures, expertise and analytical skills, and language and communication skills. Among the semester courses I taught are Leadership, Globalization, and Social Change; Current Perspectives of Global Leadership; Leadership and Disaster; and Western Perceptions of Japaneseness.
In dialogue with my abovementioned work on Fukushima is an interest on photographic representations of disasters in a post-photography world. I am currently conducting ethnographic research that looks at the intersection of digital images with social history and how the camera can be used to explore social responses to cultural change.
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