Japanese Studies Seminar Series - 'Transnational Archipelago: Japan in the global environmental movement' Simon Avenell

Please note the change of venue for this week's seminar.

This week's presenter will be Dr Simon Avenell, College of Asia and the Pacific. 

From around the late 1960s Japanese antipollution and environmental activists began to look beyond the boundaries of their archipelago in search of allies and environmental knowledge.  In the process they became involved in numerous mobilizations for victims of industrial pollution and natural degradation worldwide, and they contributed to the development of the nascent global environmental movement.  Crossing borders empowered these activists to challenge the developmentalist agenda of their country, to address the environmental impact of Japan’s economic expansion into East Asia, and to advocate a globalist yet locally-rooted perspective often greatly at odds with the logic of advanced, multinational capital, and the nation-states which supported it.  In this presentation I outline my current project tracing this history of transnational environmental activism in contemporary Japan.  What might be the effect, I ask, of rethinking Japanese environmentalism through a transnational lens, moving over and beyond the spatial and epistemological boundaries implicit in internalist national histories?  What – if anything – might we see by casting our gaze across, around, and beyond the nation, searching for connections among activists across borders, investigating flows of ideas, and retrieving moments, realizations, and events in which local endeavors have helped to constitute global aspirations?  In the presentation I will map out my provisional ideas on this transnational history from the 1960s through to the present, and along the way introduce some of the primary source materials to be employed in the project, such as pamphlets, newsletters, books, and documentaries. 

The Japanese Studies Seminar Series is a fortnightly seminar hosted by the ANU Japan Centre during Friday lunchtimes.  Each fortnight an ANU Japan-related scholar shares their research with the group for discussion.  All are welcome to attend the series and engage with our Japan scholars on their research.

Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute