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Japan Global Issues: “Cooking Up Change: Sustainability, Seafood, and Substitution in Japan”

Tuesday, April 4, 2023 - 5:15pm

Anne Claus, American University 

Claudia Cohen Hall 402 (249 South 36th Street)

Click HERE to Register 

A large-scale and consequential game of substitution is playing out in kitchens worldwide as sustainable seafood advocates try to replace over-harvested fish like salmon and tuna with more abundant species. Such substitutions depend not only on the fishers and eaters who are often deemed responsible for turning the tide of overconsumption, but also on the creation of “conscious” cooks adept at navigating these seafood substitutions. This talk, based on recent ethnographic research in Tokyo Japan, seeks to understand the diverse ways that chefs and home cooks interpret, negotiate, and enact seafood substitutions in their restaurants and in their homes.

Anne Claus is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at American University in Washington, D.C. She is a cultural anthropologist who researches environmental issues in contemporary seascapes, primarily in Japan. Her academic work investigates how the interplay of international and local discourses of resource stewardship produces sustainable practices and shapes social transformation. Her recent book (fall 2020) is an ethnography of how global environmentalisms are deployed and refashioned in Okinawa, Japan; and she is currently doing research for a multi-sited ethnography of sustainable seafoods. She has also published work on the socio-economic impacts of environmental policies on coastal communities; the political ecology of disasters; and conservation social science. Claus's work has been funded by the Fulbright Foundation, the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Tropical Resources Institute, and the Council on East Asian Studies.