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Cold War nuclear testing, production, and disasters like Chernobyl and Fukushima have exposed millions to dangerous radioactive particles; these millions are the global hibakusha. This talk will discuss the plight of communities that were exposed to this fallout, while also examining the colonialism(s) with which nuclear weapon states “select the irradiated,” the political use of medical models to render their harm invisible, and the millennia-long legacies of our embrace of nuclear technologies.
Speaker Bio: Robert Jacobs is a Professor of History at the Hiroshima Peace Institute and the Graduate School of Peace Studies of Hiroshima City University. He is a historian of science and technology focused on nuclear technologies and radiation technopolitics. His book, Nuclear Bodies: The Global Hibakusha (Yale 2022) presents over a decade of field research conducted in more than 20 countries on the effects of radiation exposures to individuals and communities from nuclear weapon testing, production and accidents, globally. He has published multiple books and articles on nuclear history and culture. Academia is a second career for Jacobs, who in a former life was a chef and worked in the organic produce industry.
Co-hosted by: School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, UBC; Department of History, UBC