My doctoral research focuses on the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster and on how the subsequent release of radioactive pollutants has affected members of Japanese society. In trying to understand the scope, character, and adverse health effects of radiation exposure, a divergence of expertise has resulted in controversial debates within public, scientific and political spheres. Seeking to make sense of the ongoing issue of radioactive contamination, an immeasurable number of voices grew and intensified over the state management of this disaster. These voices often arise from divergences in expertise taking shape in highly controversial debates within public, scientific and political spheres. Given this, my research asks a deceptively simple question: What counts as a healthy living environment in a post-Fukushima context of radioactive contamination? To answer this question, my work examines the politics of knowledge, expertise, and authority that surrounds the complex and often contradictory assessment of radiation harm among different groups. In particular, I explore how epistemological processes, sensory access and technical prosthesis of given expert areas produce specific regimes of evidences around radioactive contamination and how this impacts the perceptions of danger amidst an irradiated environment. As an anthropologist, I equally highlight how the experience of radioactive contamination is invariably informed by political horizons, cultural discourses, and the dynamics of social relations. The purpose of this research is to highlight the ongoing relationship between different areas of expert knowledge and how the extent of hazardous dangers gets defined in specific ways, subsequently influencing the understanding of a post-disaster environment as being either fit to live in or not.
2017. Radioactive Contamination and Citizen Science after Fukushima. In Second Spear, Digital Series on ‘Sensorial Engagements with a Toxic World,’ edited by Chisato Fukuda. Medical Anthropology Quarterly.
2016. Tracking Radioactive Contamination after Fukushima. Anthropology Now. 8(2): 90-103.
Keywords: Cultural politics of exclusion; belonging; citizenship; Japan