Professor, East Asian Studies

Ann-Elise Lewallen received her PhD from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on indigenous political movements and cultural revival, environmental change and indigenous survival strategies, and gender and ethnic minorities in contemporary Japan. One of lewallen’s long-term projects focuses on intersectionality issues such as the complex interplay between ethnic/social status, gender, and other marginalized subjectivities. Another long-term project focuses on eco-tourism and Ainu efforts to regain land and resource access through demonstrating sustainable practices on the land. In her forthcoming book, The Fabric of Ainu Indigeneity: Contemporary Identity and Gender in Colonial Japan, Lewallen analyzes indigenous Ainu women’s use of cultural production as an idiom of resistance against ongoing Japanese settler colonialism and for trans-generational cultural revival initiatives across the Ainu community. Lewallen has lived in urban and rural Japan since 1994 and has worked closely with the indigenous Ainu community in Hokkaido as an anthropologist and advocate during the last decade. She was in residence at Hokkaido University Faculty of Media and Communication in Fall 2014. Her research has been generously supported by the Hellman Family Fund, the UC Center for New Racial Studies, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, the Japanese Ministry of Education, and the Northeast Asia Council and Japan-U.S. Friendship Council. At UCSB, lewallen also serves as the Co-Convenor of the American Indian and Indigenous Collective Research Focus Group, housed in the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center.

Select EHC Course: Environmental Justice in Asia