Ph.D. candidate, Social Anthropology and Archaeology
(on leave 2017-18)
The Earth Sings about Itself: A Narrative of Human-Environmental Relationships in Northern Hokkaido
Ethnographic fieldwork (including, but not limited to, interviews, oral history, participant-observation, surveys); archaeological fieldwork (including site and laboratory analysis, zooarchaeology, ethnoarchaeology); archival and historical research; textual and visual analysis; ecology and animal behavior; community collaboration; public outreach and public programming
Areas of interest:
Japan, Ainu history and culture, environmental studies, zooanthropology, archaeology of maritime adaptation, zooarchaeology, food studies, identity formation, gender and the environment, cultural histories of the environment, community archaeology, Indigenous studies, constructions of ethnicity, colonialism, folklore, the monstrous, the monstrous feminine, myth and narrative, sexuality
As an undergrad at Bowdoin College, I double-majored in Anthropology and Asian Studies (Japan). My research revolved around the construction of the monstrous feminine in Japanese folklore and literature. At Bowdoin, I also spent four years as a research assistant in the archaeology lab and a student curator at the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. Within the museum, I developed an interest in Indigenous cultures of Northern climates, and archaeology related to these groups and their adaptation to environments. I combined my interest, and my personal commitment to advancing human rights through my research, in my graduate career.
As a graduate student at Harvard, I am investigating the trajectory of human-environmental relationships in Hokkaido, Northern Japan, with special attention to the Ainu. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, I am particularly interested in how environmental degradation impacts colonization processes and systematic exploitation of Indigenous peoples. I view human-environmental interactions as dynamic processes that are essential to understanding larger cultural histories.
Outside of Harvard, I am a current member of the Baikal-Hokkaido Archaeology Project (BHAP). In BHAP, as an affiliate of the University of Hokkaido, I am actively helping to develop an Indigenous archaeology program with and for the Hokkaido Ainu community.
Finally, outside of my archaeological work, I have a secondary interest in self-narrative and collaborative mythmaking. I work in New England LARPing (live-action roleplaying) communities, where I investigate mythic narrations of self, and LARP as an arena for nuanced expression of gender and sexuality.
I have also been heavily involved in the performing arts, and have studied the interaction between gender, the body, and performance in a variety of mediums (including dance and opera).
Languages: English (native), Japanese, French, Spanish (basic reading)