Norma Field

Speaker: Norma Field, Robert S. Ingersoll Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, Japanese Studies, University of Chicago

Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016
Time: 4 PM 
Place: SUB Ballroom D

Title: Living with/in Fukushima, Five Years Later: Our World

Asian Studies Program
College of Letters and Science
Department of History & Philosophy
Department of Modern Languages & Literatures
Department of Native American Studies
Department of Political Science
Department of Sociology & Anthropology
Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program


Dr. Field will explore the human implications of the ongoing nuclear disaster emanating from northeastern Japan. The radioactive plume traversing the northern hemisphere is certainly part of "our" world, but the Fukushima disaster also illuminates social structures that sustain nuclear power generation, including the divisions produced by the disaster itself. All of us are implicated, but not with the same degree of urgency. How can those of us living in provisionally safe, or more accurately, less contaminated places given that we all inhabit a world transformed by the atomic age beginning in 1945, think about the political and moral challenges that Fukushima poses?

About the speaker:

Norma Field studies modern Japanese literature with an interest in the dialectical pursuit of structural and historical analyses and “naïve” and “scholarly” responses. She is also interested in translation as an interpretive, creative and scholarly activity, feminism, and all of the above in the context of contemporary capitalism. Field is the author of The Splendor of Longing in the Tale of Genji, From My Grandmother’s Bedside: Sketches of Postwar Tokyo and My Grandmother’s Land, a collection of her essays including several originally written in Japanese. Her book, In the Realm of a Dying Emperor, is one of the best-selling books in Japanese studies and used widely in college classrooms. In January 2016, she published a co-edited volume, For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature, with The University of Chicago Press.