- Ph.D. Brandeis University, Anthropology
Ryo Morimoto is an assistant professor of anthropology and a first-generation scholar from Japan. Morimoto’s ethnographically driven research in post-fallout coastal Fukushima explores the latent impacts of settler colonialism in the United States on global, historical engagements with nuclear things and on contemporary and future ecologies and generations. He traces the material, technoscientific, political, cultural transmutations and local and planetary flows of natural elements like uranium, artificial radioisotopes, nuclear bombs, radiation-emitting medical devices, nuclear energy, and nuclear waste. Through his scholarship, Morimoto aims to build coalitions between Fukushima residents in Japan and Indigenous communities across the globe, both of which have been subjugated by radioactive world-making.
At Princeton, Morimoto teaches an anthropology and environmental studies course titled “Nuclear Things and Toxic Colonization.” In the course, the students explore concepts such as extractivism, radioactive colonialism, and sacrificial zone and issues like the ongoing climate crisis and nuclear waste management.
Morimoto began the Nuclear Princeton project in the summer of 2020 with support from the Council on Science and Technology. Nuclear Princeton aims to highlight under-acknowledged impacts of nuclear science, technology and engineering on Native lands and communities by exploring the role that Princeton scholars and University — located on Leni Lenape territory — have played in making the world irreversibly nuclear.