100 Nuclear Ghosts: Ryo Morimoto (EF, JP)

John and Elizabeth explore spectral radiation with Ryo Morimoto, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. His new book Nuclear Ghost: Atomic Livelihoods in Fukushima’s Grey Zone is based on several years of fieldwork in coastal Fukushima after the triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident. Ryo’s book shows how residents of the region live with and through the “nuclear ghost” that resides with them.

The trio discuss ways that residents acclimatize themselves to the presence of radiation, efforts to live their lives in ways not only shaped by catastrophe and irradiation, and the Geiger counter as a critical object.

Ryo relates the astonishing–but when you stop to think unsurprising—fact that “once you have [a Geiger counter] you actually want to see higher scores.”

Mentioned in this episode:

Paul Saint-Amour, Tense Future

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky Roadside Picnic

Tarkovksy, Stalker (the film)

Stalker (the video game)

Haruki Murakami 1Q84

Pat Barker The Ghost Road

Read the episode here

Listen here.

Author: plotznik

I teach English (mainly the novel and Victorian literature) at Brandeis University, and live in Brookline.

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