Spaces of Creative Resistance 2021

Session 1: Making Changes

Creative, collaborative remaking of spaces and livelihoods. Resisting labor, gendered and peripheral inequalities.


Andrea Gevurtz Arai teaches Japan and East Asia cultural anthropology and society courses at the University of Washington. She is the author of The Strange Child: Education and the Psychology of Patriotism in Recessionary Japan (Stanford U. Press, 2016) and co-author of Spaces of Possibility: in, between and beyond Korea and Japan (UW Press, 2016), and Global Futures in East Asia (SUP, 2013). Arai is collaborating on a third East Asia project and edited volume: “Spaces of Creative Resistance in East Asia”.

She is working on a second monograph, on the aesthetics, feminist biopolitics and peripheral spaces of social movements in Japan and beyond.

Hyein Chae is a Ph.D. student in the college of Built Environments at University of Washington. She previously studied landscape architecture and urban design at Seoul National University and worked as an urban designer in Seoul, South Korea. Her interests have evolved from urban preservation especially on an everyday basis. Expanded from this, she is looking closely into bottom-up and communal power that makes changes in old urban areas. This interest encompasses a series of inquiries about the roles and impacts of autonomy in the realm of urban design, and its relationship (or mostly tensions) with institutions. Click here for full project description.


Since moving from Taipei to Hualien in 1995, Dr. Yu-Chun (June) Ku has taught at university and spent much of her time working with local and Indigenous communities in Hualien County. 

Ku’s expertise includes teacher training, curriculum development, diversified education, community building, environmental education, social undertakings, and program design; many of which she has applied to the contexts of young local community members via various programs. In these programs, youth are given opportunities to explore and develop their interests, and are encouraged to pursue activities that help them to gain new skills, without the pressures of traditional lines of education. Click here for full project description.


Christopher T. Nelson is a cultural anthropologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research interests include the relationship between history and memory; the critical study of everyday life; storytelling, ritual and performance; value, exchange and sacrifice. His first book, Dancing With the Dead: Memory, Performance and Everyday Life in Postwar Okinawa was published by Duke University Press. He is currently at work on a book entitled, When the Bones Speak: Value, Sacrifice and Creative Action, an ethnography of laborers, artists, ethnologists, political activists, shaman and the dead in Japan. Nelson is one of the editors of the journal, Cultural Anthropology, and an advocate for open access publication.