The Organisers

The workshop has been initiated by Eiko Honda and Alice Freeman at the University of Oxford. We are planning a larger version of this workshop as a conference for 2019 together with arts and humanities researchers working in other geographical regions. We aspire to transcend disciplinary and national intellectual boundaries within Area Studies, whilst simultaneously promoting integration between Area Studies and “mainstream” Euro-American discourse on planetary concerns.


Eiko Honda
DPhil candidate, St Antony’s College / Faculty of History, University of Oxford.
Eiko’s work investigates non-Cartesian intellectual and cultural histories of nature between Europe and Japan and their relevance to the practice of knowledge today. Her DPhil focuses on the history of trans-disciplinary and global knowledge formation through the life and work of the naturalist and polymath Minakata Kumagusu (1867—1941), who specialized in slime mould. She previously worked as a curator and writer of contemporary art and ideas.

Her publications include “’Planetary’ Knowledge? Moving Beyond Internationalism” in 5: Designing Media Ecology: The Anthropocene and Our Post-natural Future (Tokyo, 2016), “Political Ecology of Art and Architecture in Japan: 100 Years Ago and Now” in Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art: Political Ecology in East Asia (Bristol, 2016), and “On Atomic Subjectivity” in The Nuclear Culture Source Book (London, 2016). She is a recipient of various fellowships and grants, including that of the Japanese Government’s Agency for Cultural Affairs, Toshiba International Foundation, and the University of Oxford’s Sasakawa Fund. She has been an active participant of the Anthropocene Curriculum, organised by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin.

Dr Alice Freeman
Research and Teaching Associate, the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford.
Alice completed her D.Phil. ‘Zen Buddhism in Japan-US Relations, 1941-1973: The Politics of Culture from the Pacific War to the Vietnam War’ in 2016, under the supervision of Professor Sho Konishi at the Faculty of History, University of Oxford. Whilst a D.Phil. student she also served as Environment and Ethics Officer for the Graduate Common Room at Christ Church from 2014 to 2016. In 2015 she presented a paper on the moral responsibilities of historians in relation to climate change at the unconference “Taking the Past into the Future” at St Andrews University. She has a BA (Hons) in Oriental Studies (Chinese with Japanese) (2007) and an MSc in Modern Japanese Studies (2012), both from the University of Oxford.