Karen Nakamura

Status message

  • Active context: default_slideshow
  • Active context: faculty_sidebar
  • Active context: sitewide

Karen Nakamura

333 Kroeber Hall; Lab: HFA D 1
Office Hours
Tues. 10am - 12pm

Current/Future Courses

Disability, Ethnography and Design

Spring 2018 |Undergraduate

Sex: Anthropological

Fall 2017 |Undergraduate

Special Interests

Cultural anthropology; Disability Studies; LGBT movements; minority social movements and identity politics; visual anthropology and ethnographic filmmaking, Japan


My research is on disability, sexuality, and other minority social movements in contemporary Japan. In 2006, I published Deaf in Japan: Signing and the Politics of Identity, an ethnography of sign language and deaf social movements. My second project on psychiatric disabilities and community based recovery resulted in two ethnographic films and a book titled, A Disability of the Soul: An Ethnography of Schizophrenia and Mental Illness in Contemporary Japan (2014). My books, films, and articles have resulted in numerous prizes including the John Whitney Hall Book Prize, the SVA Short Film Award, and David Plath Media Award. I'm currently finishing a project on trans movements as disability in Japan while launching a new project on robotics, augmentation, and prosthetic technology.