Karen Nakamura : Public Anthropology / Media Relations
Public Anthropology: Anthropologists take public service seriously. As social scientists, our job is to inform the populace about issues related to social and policy goals. Although we accomplish a great amount of that through our teaching and research publications, the audience for those sources tend to remain within the elite. My own role in public anthropology is to welcome the media and the general public to take advantage of my expertise in particular areas through magazine and newspaper interviews as well as public speaking events.
Bio Blurb Version 1: Karen Nakamura is a cultural and visual anthropologist and the Haas Distinguished Chair in Disability Studies at the University of California Berkeley, where she also runs the UC Berkeley Disability Lab. Her research is on disability, sexuality, and other minority social movements in contemporary Japan and the United States. In 2006, she published Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity, an ethnography of sign language and deaf social movements. Her second project on psychiatric disabilities and community based recovery resulted in two ethnographic films and a book titled, A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan (2014). Her books, films, and articles have resulted in numerous prizes including the John Whitney Hall Book Prize, the SVA Short Film Award, and David Plath Media Award. She is currently working on the intersections of sexuality, disability, and eugenics. (126 words)
Bio Blurb Version 2: Karen Nakamura is a cultural and visual anthropologist at the University of California Berkeley. Her first book was titled Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity (2006). Her next project resulted in two ethnographic films and a monograph titled, A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan (2014). She is currently working on the intersections of transsexuality and disability politics in postwar Japan. (72 words)
Research interests: Disability studies, minority social movements and identity politics, civil society, gender and sexuality, sociocultural anthropology, and visual culture.
Expert Testimony: I am willing to serve as a judicial expert in the areas of my research expertise.
Media relations: I am happy to give interviews on topics related to my research interests. Please e-mail me to schedule a time for a telephone or physical interview.
Public speaking: I also am more than willing to give public presentations on topics related to my research interests. I do not expect honorariums from small, non-profit organizations (deaf clubs, public elementary or secondary schools, etc.) unless they require travel outside of my immediate area. Please contact me well in advance regarding a topic and proposed date and venue.
I have lectured at: Yale University, Harvard University, Princeton University, Stanford, University of Michigan, Cornell University, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, UC Davis, New York University, Columbia University, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, Middlebury College, University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Bowdoin College, Johns Hopkins University, Heidelburg University (Germany), Lund University, INALCO (France), Sophia University (Japan), the American Anthropological Association, the Association for Asian Studies, International Studies Association, the World Congress of the Deaf, and others.