Disaster and Recovery in Northeastern Japan


Based on 30 months of ethnographic fieldwork conducted between 2013-2017 in Minami-soma city, this talk examines how residents’ lives in post-nuclear disaster coastal Fukushima have been impacted by natural and technological disaster and its associated techno-sensory politics of nuclear “things.” By techno-sensory politics, I mean the process through which the uses and applications of technologies intended to make otherwise in-sensible experiences apprehensible to the human senses foreground certain representations of and knowledge regarding insensible things while downplaying others in a way that is non-neutral. Under a techno-sensory regime that privileges expert, scientific quantifications of radiation, local residents constantly struggle to validate their subjective experience of exposure, which not only has to be objectively measurable and individually knowable, but also has to be socially, politically and legally acknowledged through economic and other forms of compensations.


Dr. Ryo Morimoto (Harvard), Prof. David Edgington (UBC), Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura (UBC)

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