The Emergence of Queer Nature in Modern Science: Minakata Kumagusu (1867—1941) and the Universe of Microbial Knowledge
Supervisor: Sho Konishi
Eiko’s DPhil research examines the life and work of the transnational Japanese naturalist and polymath Minakata Kumagusu (1867-1941), who specialised in the epistemology and biology of the microbe slime mould. Her primary interest lies in the intellectual history of subjectivity and ecological nature that defied the established convention of divides and hierarchies among nations, class, gender, and academic disciplines. In effect, she investigates the relevance of such histories to the practice of knowledge today, particularly in placing ecological concerns at the core of Humanities research and education.
Publications include: “’Planetary’ Knowledge? Moving Beyond Internationalism” in 5: Designing Media Ecology: The Anthropocene and Our Post-natural Future (Tokyo, 2016) and “On Atomic Subjectivity” in The Nuclear Culture Source Book (London, 2016). The research has been supported by the Toshiba International Foundation, the Japan Foundation and the Endowment Committee, GB Sasakawa, Oxford Sasakawa, and British Association for Japanese Studies among many others.
Prior to DPhil, Eiko worked as a curator and writer of contemporary art and ideas in London, specialising in transdisciplinary projects of art, science, and technologies in the context of Anglo-Asian historical relations, through a fellowship awarded by Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs (2013-2016). Having developed various public education programmes as a curator, she continues to take part in public engagement work as an academic -- as a method of a collaborative learning process beyond the convention of the academia. The recent PE ranges from BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking, a documentary by the NHK World, to a local radio programme in countryside Japan and participation to public talk events at alternative cultural platforms, galleries, and a national think-tank.