ann-elise lewallen

ann-elise lewallen, Interim Graduate Program Chair, Assistant Professor, Co-Convenor of the American Indian and Indigenous Collective RFG, Member of PhD Emphasis Affiliate (IEES)
Assistant Professor

Office Hours

Please e-mail for appointment
lewallen@eastasian.ucsb.edu

Office Location

HSSB 2256

Specialization

Modern Japanese Cultural Studies, Indigenous Studies, Anthropology, and Environment and Society

Faculy in East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies Department

Education

  • Ph.D., University of Michigan

Bio

ann-elise lewallen has lived in urban and rural Japan since 1994 and has worked closely with the indigenous Ainu community in Hokkaido as an anthropologist and advocate during the last decade. She was in residence at Hokkaido University Faculty of Media and Communication in Fall 2014. Her research has been generously supported by the Fulbright Program,  the Hellman Family Fund, the UC Center for New Racial Studies, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Social Science Research Council, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and the Northeast Asia Council and Japan-U.S. Friendship Council.
 
At UCSB, lewallen also serves as the Co-Convenor of the Reinventing Japan Research Focus Group (2015-2016), and has formerly served as the Co-Convenor of the American Indian and Indigenous Collective (2013-2015) Research Focus Group, both housed in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center. 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.

Research

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.

Projects

lewallen’s ongoing research investigates how discourses of national development impact indigenous communities. In her current project, Nuclear States: Global Civil Society and Embodied Solidarity in Japan and Beyond, she examines Japan’s nuclear diplomacy through its export of nuclear technology and how its involvement in nuclear power development in India threatens to displace thousands of indigenous communities from ancestral lands.

 

Publications

Click here to view a full list of publications or see lewalen's Curriculum Vitae.

Courses

EACS 141: Environmental Justice in Asia
Japan (# pending): Environment and Power in Japan
EACS 241: Environmental Justice in Asia (Graduate-proposed)**

**Elective course for IEES