VIVIAN SHAW                                                                                                      

ヴィヴィアン ショー


download: curriculum vitae                                               contact:

profile @ UT-Austin Sociology

profile @ HASTAC

vivian shaw is a graduate student in the Sociology Department at the University of Texas at Austin. My research interests are in the areas of race & ethnicity and gender, focusing especially on science/technology, culture, and politics as they converge to produce racial and gender inequality. My dissertation, "Human Fallout: Biological citizenship in anti-nuclear and anti-racist collective action in post-3/11 Japan," is a multi-sited ethnography based in Tokyo and Osaka that investigates the practices, mechanisms, and narratives through which Japanese anti-nuclear and anti-racist organizations define and respond to biological and social risk, discrimination, and inequality in the wake of the nuclear disaster at Fukushima Daiichi on March 31, 2011 (3/11).

I am a Graduate Fellow in the Urban Ethnography Lab, a group of faculty and graduate students involved with ethnographic and qualitative research at UT-Austin, and a researcher for The Digital Edge, a multi-sited project funded by the MacArthur Foundation.  I am also completing graduate portfolios in Women's and Gender Studies and Asian American Studies.

In 2012, I received my M.A. in Sociology from UT-Austin. Prior to my time in Texas, I attended New York University and worked  in maternal-child health policy and program administration at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.


research projects


“Human Fallout: Biological citizenship in anti-nuclear and anti-racist collective action in post-3/11 Japan” (PhD Dissertation, in progress)

How is the emergence of anti-nuclear and anti-racist collective action after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster (3/11) shaped not only in crisis but through preexisting conditions of social inequality and discrimination? Where do gender and race factor in the processes of determining risks, both social and biological? In this study, I suggest that 3/11 surpasses the “local” politics of Japanese civil society, revealing transnational formations at work that structure cultural meanings around toxicity, disaster, gender, and race/ethnicity. I explore these questions through ethnographic fieldwork with anti-nuclear and anti-racist organizations in Tokyo and Osaka.

“Atomic Memory: Theorizing Post-racial Memory and Trauma in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum” (MA Thesis, 2012)

Drawing from interview data, spatial analysis, and critical theories of race and memory, this project focuses on Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to analyze the transnational conflicts that must be negotiated within institutional efforts to memorialize the atomic bombings. In this study, I argue that the atomic bombings and their cultural representations provide an important case for tracing the global roots of contemporary post-racial ideologies. 

The Digital Edge, Connected Learning Research Network

This collaborative ethnography was conducted with a team of researchers in Austin, Texas over three years. In this study, we followed students at a Central Texas High School and their families to investigate how conditions of social inequality. In our research, we found that such structures of marginality simultaneously constrained students’ opportunities to capitalize on the “promises” of digital technology while also motivating innovative practices of resistance against these very barriers.

Read my blog post: “Life after the Digital Club: Minority Students navigating their Creative Ambitions.”

Copyright Vivian Shaw 2014