College of Social SciencesUniversity of Hawaii at Manoa
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Department of Sociology

 

People

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Aya Kimura

Aya Kimura

Associate Professor

History

Background:
My research and teaching interests focus on the intersection of technoscience and gender particularly in the fields of food and environmental issues in Asia. My dissertation examined how nutritional science can structure the meanings of, and prescriptions for, the world food problem. I spent one year conducting field research in Indonesia for this project. Other topics I have researched include the politics of genetically modified organisms particularly in developing nations, and local food movements in Japan. I have also been working more recently on issues of participation and democracy in food governance.

Before getting a Ph.D. in Sociology from University of Wisconsin-Madison, I received my MA in Environmental Studies from Yale University. It is from my concern with environmental and sustainability issues that I developed my interests in food and its relationship to gender. I see food as an excellent entry point to larger ecological, social, cultural, and economic issue. My work is really to use food as a lens through which we can better understand power relations in society.
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Interests

Personal:
Technoscience and sustainability; social movements; agrofood systems; East and Southeast Asian Societies; food insecurity; sociology of health and medicine

 

Instruction

Teaching:
I have taught courses such as "Women and Social Policy," "Women and Health," "Feminist methodologies," "Science and Technology in the Modern World," and "Environment, Natural Resources and Society."

 

Publications

Risk Communication Programs after the Fukushima Nuclear Accident: A Comparison of Epistemic Cultures (2016) Download Publication Type: Chapters in books

Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists: The Gender Politics of Food Contamination (Duke University Press) (2016) : "Based on careful research, extensive fieldwork, and a judicious use of political and feminist theory, this book's relevance to political and social developments extends beyond Japan's borders. It is a reminder of the ongoing effects of the Fukushima disaster in Japan at a time when these effects are being increasingly ignored by the global media. A timely and important book, "Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists" will appeal to scholars of contemporary Japanese society as well as science and technology studies scholars, especially those interested in the gender dimensions of science and technology."--Tessa Morris-Suzuki, author of "Borderline Japan: Foreigners and Frontier Controls in the Postwar Era"

"Riveting and smart, "Radiation Brain Moms and Citizen Scientists" tracks the efforts made by citizens in post-Fukushima Japan to ensure the safety of their food from radioactive contamination. In the face of state neglect and criticism from fellow Japanese, these initiatives display a 'soft' boldness (versus activist politics). Interweaving stories of citizen scientists and 'radiation brain moms' with sharp theoretics that deconstruct the entanglements of science, neoliberalism, and postfeminism at work, this book is at once powerful and timely."--Anne Allison, author of "Precarious Japan" Type: Books of original scholarship–author/co-author

Risk communication under postfeminism: Analysis of risk communication programmes after the Fukushima nuclear accident (2015) : Management of risk perception, in addition to risk itself, is an important pillar of risk governance. Risk communication became pervasive in post-Fukushima Japan as the power industry grappled with the decline in support for and trust in nuclear power. Using case studies of risk communication programmes by the nuclear industry after the Fukushima nuclear accident, the paper analyses the deployment of lay people, particularly women, in risk communication as an emergent characteristic of contemporary risk communication. The data are published documents, websites, and videos made by two organisations affiliated with the electric power industry. Drawing on theories of neoliberal governmentality and postfeminist gender settlement, the paper highlights how contemporary risk discourse refashions risk into something positive, rather than only potentially negative: risk becomes something to be bravely taken by savvy individuals, particularly women. The paper shows how women are incorporated into risk communication not only as targets but also as messengers, and how the contents of risk communication weave feminist and postfeminist themes together in order to appeal to women. Download Publication Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals

Understanding Fukushima: nuclear impacts, risk perceptions and organic farming in feminist political ecology perspective (2015) : in International Handbook of Political Ecology (Ed. Raymond Bryant) London: Edward Elgar. Type: Chapters in books

"Farming after the Fukushima accident: A feminist political ecology analysis of organic agriculture," Journal of Rural Studies (2014) Download Publication Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: Yohei Katano

"Nutrition as a project," Gastronomica: the Journal of Critical Food Studies (2014) Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: C. Biltekoff, J. Mudry, J. Hayes-Conroy

"Other ways of knowing food,” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies (2014) Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: J. Hayes-Conroy, J. Mudry, N. Chen, and A. H. Kimura

"Interrogating moral and quantification discourses in nutritional knowledge,” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies (2014) Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: C. Biltekoff, J. Mudry, A. H. Kimura, H. Landecker, and J. Guthman

"Interrogating moral and quantification discourses in nutritional knowledge,” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies (2014) Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: C. Biltekoff, J. Mudry, A. H. Kimura, H. Landecker, and J. Guthman

“Standards as hybrid forum: comparison of the Post-Fukshima radiation standards by a consumer cooperative, the private sector, and the Japanese government,” International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food, 20 (1) 11-29, 2013. (2013) Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals

Hidden Hunger: Science, Gender, and Politics of Smart Food (2013) : Cornell University Press Type: Books of original scholarship–author/co-author

“Feminist heuristics: transforming the foundation of food quality and safety assurance systems,” Journal of Rural Sociology, forthcoming. (2012) Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals

"Food education as food literacy: privatized and gendered food knowledge in contemporary Japan," Agriculture and Human Values (2011) : Agriculture and Human Values Type: journal article

"Between technocracy and democracy: an experimental approach to certification of food products by a Japanese consumer cooperative women," Journal of Rural Studies (2010) : Journal of Rural Studies 26 (2010): 130–140 Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals

“Who defines the 'needs' of babies?: scientization of baby food in Indonesia (2008) : Social Politics 15 (2) 232-260 Type: Journal article

"The chisan-chisho movement: Japanese local food movement and its challenges" (2008) : Agriculture and Human Values 25 (1) 49-64 Type: Articles in international or national refereed journals Co-Authors: Mima Nishiyama

"The alternative agrofood movement in contemporary Japan" (2005) : The Chiba University Technical Bulletin of Faculty of Horticulture Type: Journal article Co-Authors: Mima Nishiyama

"Family planning evolution in RI: book review of ‘People, Population, and Policy in Indonesia'" (2005) : The Jakarta Post, February 20, 2005. Type: Articles in other periodicals

"The ‘gene revolution” in global perspective: a reconsideration of the global adoption and diffusion of GM crop varieties 1996- 2002" (2003) : Program on Agricultural Technology Studies Staff Paper Series, No. 9 Type: Articles in other periodicals Co-Authors: Frederick H. Buttel

 

Awards & Honors

President's Award for Outstanding Teaching in Sustainability (2016)

National Science Foundation Award (Food Safety Assurance Systems and Nuclear Disaster Preparedness) (2014)

Fred Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Book Award (2014) : For the book, Hidden Hunger: Gender and Politics of Smarter Foods (Cornell University Press)

http://www.hawaii.edu/news/2014/06/23/aya-kimuras-hidden-hunger-book-recognized/

 

Research Projects

Workshop on Citizen Science in Agrifood Systems: Exploring the Synergy between Science and Counter-expertise (2017 - ) : Funded by the National Science Foundation's Public Participation in STEM Research Program

 

eSyllabi

SOC 305 (Fall 2017) : Women and Health - Download
  Cross Listed: WS 305

SOC 367 (Fall 2017) : Sustainability and Social Justice - Download
  Cross Listed: WS 367

WS 367 (Fall 2016) : Sustainability and social justice - Download

SOC 318 (Spring 2015) : Women and Social Policy - Download
  Section: 001
  Cross Listed: WS 318

WS 400 (Spring 2015) : Food, Body and Women: Analysis of Biopolitics - Download