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CJS Thursday Lecture Series | Ainu Indigenous Modernity in Settler Japan

ann-elise lewallen, Associate Professor, East Asian Languages and Cultures, UC-Santa Barbara
Thursday, November 16, 2017
11:30 AM-1:00 PM
Room 110 Weiser Hall Map
In Japan today, Indigenous Ainu women stitch together ancestral memory and global Indigenous activism to challenge bitter legacies of settler racism and colonial erasure. Instead of orchestrating this resistance in spectacular mass protest, they invoke clothwork as a silent yet potent resistance to these erasures. This talk elucidates how cloth arts allow Ainu women to move between “being Ainu,” a racist label assigned by Japanese society, to actively “becoming Ainu.” I describe how Ainu women counteract both the logics of erasure and the state’s neoliberal multiculturalist attempts to manage Ainu by embracing indigenous modernity on their own terms.

ann-elise lewallen, Associate Professor, University of California, Santa Barbara, is a cultural anthropologist of Japan, India, and an engaged scholar. Her publications include "The Fabric of Indigeneity: Ainu Identity, Gender, and Settler Colonialism in Japan" (2016) and she is a co-editor of "Beyond Ainu Studies: Changing Academic and Public Perspectives" (2014). Her work-in-progress, entitled "In Pursuit of Energy Justice: Nuclear Diplomacy and Embodied Solidarity in Japan and India" examines how grassroots and irradiated communities center the human body in order to make radiation visible and to block nuclear energy development from poisoning their homelands.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Japanese Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures