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Eiko Honda - New Assistant professor at the Department of Global Studies

Eiko Honda specialises in the intellectual history of modern Japan and the environmental humanities and is currently working on the project: The Emergence of Queer Nature: Minakata Kumagusu and the Making of Microbial Paradigm, 1887-1912.

Eiko Honda specialises in the intellectual history of modern Japan and the environmental humanities. Her historical research interrogates boundary-defying works and (inter-)actions of Japanese scientist-polymaths whose epistemologies do not conform to the model of ‘civilisational progress’ led by the vision of human domination over non-human ‘nature.’ She concurrently collaborates with scholars and practitioners of various fields to investigate shifting roles and methods of History and Area Studies in the time of climate crisis.

Her current project The Emergence of Queer Nature: Minakata Kumagusu and the Making of Microbial Paradigm, 1887-1912 reveals what she calls the microbial paradigm of the Buddhist naturalist-polymath Minakata Kumagusu (1867-1941). The underlying logic of this paradigm resembled the non-binary biology of the microbe slime mould that she conceptualises as `queer nature’. Asserting queer nature as a novel method of historical analysis, she illuminates new accounts of metaphysical theories, evolutionism, civilisation theory, and non-Eurocentric science and social sciences that existed in modern Japan, but not in its historiography.

She completed her D.Phil in History at the University of Oxford in 2021 and briefly served as the Landhaus Fellow at the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society, Munich; Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellow at the Sainsbury Institute of Japanese Studies, Norwich; and Research and Teaching Associate at the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford. Prior to her retraining as a historian, she extensively worked as a curator and writer of contemporary art and ideas based in London. As the 2013-2016 overseas curatorial fellow of Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan, she curated a series of interdisciplinary exhibitions and public education programs that brought together art practice in conversation with philosophy, science, technology, and archaeology in historical contexts of Anglo-Asian relations.
 


Contact:
Eiko Honda
School of Culture and Society - Japan Studies, subject
Jens Chr. Skous Vej 7
building 1465, 418
8000 Aarhus C
eiko.honda@cas.au.dk
Phone: +87159668