Hiroko Kumaki is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her research examines the everyday experiences and ethics of living with environmental toxicity in the aftermath of the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan in 2011.
What does it mean to live well in a time, place, and ecology where toxicity has become the very fabric of everyday life? Hiroko’s dissertation explores this question through an ethnographic study of policies and practices surrounding health and care after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, in 2011. It considers responses to the radioactive fallout, in which health and well-being have been articulated in varying terms among residents, evacuees, supporting organizations, activists, and bureaucratic institutions. Hiroko’s dissertation stages the everyday intimate experiences of living with environmental toxicity, as they unfold in relation to cumulative historical processes and planetary environmental change.