Modern Japanese Cultural Studies, Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, and Environment and Society
Faculy in East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies Department
- Ph.D., University of Michigan
ann-elise lewallen’s research focuses on indigenous political movements and cultural revival, environmental change and indigenous survival strategies, and gender and ethnic minorities in contemporary Japan. She is also concerned with ethnographic research ethics and issues of knowledge construction in relation to host communities.
In her forthcoming book, The Fabric of Indigeneity: Contemporary Ainu Identity and Gender in Colonial Japan (School for Advanced Research Press), lewallen analyzes indigenous Ainu women’s use of cultural production as an idiom of resistance against ongoing Japanese settler colonialism and for trans-generational cultural revival initiatives across the Ainu community. In the book, she explores how Ainu women forge identities to demonstrate cultural viability, by tracking their efforts to both produce and preserve material arts as a way of memorializing ancestors and recuperating self-worth. Ainu women’s strategies to reinscribe traditional gender-complementary labor, she argues, enable network-building with indigenous women globally, while challenging feminist discourses favoring gender equity for all women. Her work analyzes how indigenous politics, practices, and identity formation are all profoundly shaped by social constructions of gender.
Japan (# pending): Environment and Power in Japan
EACS 241: Environmental Justice in Asia (Graduate-proposed)**
**Elective course for IEES