Dickinson to Host Anthropologist to Discuss 'Nuclear Ghost' of Fukushima

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Photo by Dan Loh.

The Donald W. Flaherty Lecture in Asian Studies

Ryo Morimoto, a Princeton University anthropology professor and author, will discuss the impact of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on the culture and people who live near the accident site in Japan. His talk, marking Dickinson’s Donald W. Flaherty Lecture in Asian Studies, will take place Thursday, Nov. 30, at 4:30 p.m. in the Stern Center Great Room. It is free and open to the public.

Morimoto is the author of Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihoods in Fukushima’s Gray Zone. It is one of the first in-depth ethnographic accounts of coastal Fukushima written in English. The book tells the stories of a diverse group of residents who aspire to live and die well in their now irradiated homes. Their determination to recover their land, cultures and histories for future generations provides a compelling case study for reimagining relationality and accountability in the ever-atomizing world.

Morimoto is a first-generation college graduate and scholar from Japan. His scholarly work addresses the planetary impacts of our past and present engagements with nuclear things. His second book project explores the U.S-Japan transnational history of disaster robots and an ethnography of decommissioning robots in coastal Fukushima. Morimoto is a facilitator of the Native undergraduate student-led project Nuclear Princeton.

The Donald W. Flaherty Lecture in Asian Studies is supported by a fund established by students, colleagues and friends of professor Flaherty, a pioneer in the development of East Asian studies at Dickinson. The lectureship brings to campus scholars and speakers who reflect Flaherty’s lifelong interest in all aspects of Asian history, culture and politics.


Published November 13, 2023