Environmental Humanities Colloquium: “Wild Boar Chase: The Half-Life Politics of Nuclear Things in Coastal Fukushima”
Ryo Morimoto, Princeton University assistant professor of anthropology, will present “Wild Boar Chase: The Half-Life Politics of Nuclear Things in Coastal Fukushima” at 4:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 7, in East Pyne, Room 111.
Morimoto will examine the nuclear fallout in coastal Fukushima through residents’ encounters with wild boars in their abandoned homes. Local residents feel metaphorically linked to the boars, using them to imagine a potential life in their evacuated hometowns, and they see the hunting down of the boars as contradictory to recovery. The boars illustrate local residents’ struggles to resist the banal violence of low-dose radiation exposure. Morimoto proposes using “half-life” as a scale to capture the temporality of people’s daily lives in the aftermath of nuclear disaster.
Morimoto uses ethnographic research to create a space and language to think about nuclear and other contaminants as part and parcel of what it means to live in the late-industrial and post-fallout era. Morimoto is currently working on a book tentatively titled, “The Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihood in Fukushima’s Gray Zone,” which analyzes the struggles of representing and experiencing low-dose radiation exposure in coastal Fukushima where the threshold of exposure is inconsistent. Before coming to Princeton, Ryo was a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute of Japan Studies at Harvard University.
This is the fourth talk in the Fall 2018 Environmental Humanities Colloquium.
Series Background: Open to faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and staff, the Environmental Humanities and Social Transformation Colloquium aims to build an intellectual community of Princeton scholars and graduate students from all backgrounds whose work is animated by — or intersects with — issues central to the environmental humanities. The colloquium is hosted by Rob Nixon, the Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment, and Professor of English and the Princeton Environmental Institute.
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