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november, 2020

19nov12:00 pmIRWGS Grad Colloquium: Tomoki Birkett, Caitlin Laughney and Erica Eliason


Event Details

IRWGS Grad Colloquium with Tomoki Birkett (Anthropology), Caitlin Laughney (Columbia University School of Social Work) and Erica Eliason (Columbia University School of Social Work)
Please RSVP with or for zoom link.

Tomoki Birkett is an eight-year Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Department researching the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Tomoki’s work weaves together poetry, oral history, ethnography, and dialogue to articulate the senses of place and being in place that have been part of life in Fukushima prefecture. They are also actively interested in anticolonial knowledge production about Japan and queer Japanese and Nikkei politics.

“The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster as an Afterlife”

I situate the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster as an afterlife in Japan’s post-WWII colonial formation of politics and economics. My work asks how we can understand this catastrophic event, and Japanese political responses to it, within or in relation to a genealogy and mapping of nuclear power that attends to geopolitics and colonial resonances. Specifically, I trace out the reformulations of gendered colonial subjectivities and their role in post-2011 antinuclear politics, how nuclear labor conditions emerged out of Japanese neocolonial economics in the 1960s/70s, and the ongoing salience of settler imaginaries in Japanese nuclear politics.

Caitlin Laughney is a second-year Ph.D. student at Columbia University School of Social Work. Caitlin’s research is centered in a strengths-based perspective and aims to understand how utilizing positive aspects of human sexuality can help prevent sexual violence, HIV/STI transmission, and unintended pregnancy. Erica Eliason is a fourth-year Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University School of Social Work and a fellow in the Columbia Population Research Center. Erica’s research focuses on the effects of health care policies on financial hardships as well as the effects of health insurance eligibility on maternal, child, and reproductive health outcomes.

“Mortality Disparities Among US Adults Reporting Same-Sex Sexual Partners”

The aim of our study was to investigate whether sexual minority adults have increased all-cause mortality compared to adults who identified as heterosexual or only reported opposite-sex partners. We used two national surveys, the 1999-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) and the 1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III (NHANES III) that are linked with publicly available mortality files from the National Center for Health Statistics National Death Index. We observed an elevated all-cause mortality risk among sexual minority women, but not for sexual minority men.


(Thursday) 12:00 pm




The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality is the locus of interdisciplinary feminist and queer scholarship and teaching at Columbia University.

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