sociologist ethnographer educator

and cat, cheese, and bagel (New York-style) enthusiast

Vivian Shaw earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a College Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. From 2018-2019, Vivian was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Weatherhead Center for International RelationsProgram on U.S.-Japan Relations, also at Harvard.

She is the author of “‘We Are Already Living Together’: Race, Collective Struggle, and the Reawakened Nation in Post-3/11 Japan” in Precarious Belongings: Affect and Nationalism in Asia (2017, Rowman & Littlefield), and “Anti-racism Before and After Fukushima” in Alternative Politics: Ethnographic Studies of Activist Cultures and Social Movements in Contemporary Japan (forthcoming, University of Hawaiʻi Press). She has received grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (jointly awarded by the Social Science Research Council), the U.S. Department of State, and other institutions.

Her research interests are in the areas of race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality, focusing especially on these issues in relation to science/technology, culture, human rights, social movements, and the environment.

Vivian is currently developing a book manuscript out of her dissertation, “Post-disaster Citizenship: The Politics of Race, Belonging, and Activism after Fukushima.” This project is is based on a multiyear ethnographic study tracing the dual emergence of hate speech and anti-racism social movement networks in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Prior to her time in academia, Vivian worked with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in maternal-child health policy and program administration.