Tomoki Birkett

Tomoki Birkett

Dissertation Review Committee

Research Interest

Research Sub-interest

Feminist Geography, Toxicity/Radiation, Disability, Social Reproduction, Political Economy


Asia; East Asia; Japan


Tomoki Birkett is a mixed-race, non-binary Nikkei person researching the political economy of bodily banishment and radiation exposure in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Their work examines situated genealogies of how Fukushima prefecture—and coastal Fukushima in particular—has been articulated as a nuclear place, how this articulation has been predicated on claims to the bodies and labor of womxn, and the entangled forms of care that take place within the retrenchment of heteropatriarchal family systems and the expansion of radiation exposure. 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 politics.


Columbia University, MA in Anthropology, 2014
University of Michigan, BA in Anthropology, minor in Community Action and Social Change, 2012

2017. “Kirisute: Cut and Discard.” Paper at Toxic Sovereignties workshop, “Bodies, Land, Intimacy,” Department of Anthropology, Columbia University, New York, NY.

2016. “Gendered Violence of Radiation in Fukushima: Reproductive Labor and Exposure.” Conference paper at the 2016 American Anthropological Association, Minneapolis, MN.