Northwestern Events Calendar


Radiation, Pandemic, Insurrection: How Is It to Be Lived?

When: Friday, February 26, 2021
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CT

Where: Online

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures   (847) 491-5288

Group: Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

Co-Sponsor: WCCIAS

Category: Academic


Sabu Kohso in conversation with Thomas Lamarre and Franco “Bifo” Berardi

Written in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, Sabu Kohso’s Radiation and Revolution (Duke University Press, 2020) offers an analysis of Japanese and global nuclear regimes as the epitome of a capitalist-state-militaristic mode of development. A political theorist and anti-capitalist activist, Kohso considers the loss, suffering, resistance, and new horizons of life against the existential and environmental destruction that this mode of development has wrought. A passionate argument for the end of a world, Radiation and Revolution agitates for life on earth and in common as a counter-power to the confines of the nation-state.

Join Sabu Kohso in a reflection on the necessity of nuclear abolition and living-as-struggle at the junction of slow violence and acute catastrophe that connects radiation with the viral outbreak. He will be joined by longtime comrades and colleagues, the scholar-activists Franco “Bifo” Berardi and Thomas Lamarre, in a discussion on the necessary mutation of the perennial question “What is to be done?” into “How is it to be lived?” in the age of the global pandemic and planetary insurrection. 

Sabu Kohso (he/him) is a political and social critic, translator, and a long-time activist in the global and anti-capitalist struggle. A native of Okayama, Japan, Sabu has lived in New York City since 1980. He has published several books on urban space and struggle in Japan, and has translated books by Kojin Karatani, Arata Isozaki, John Holloway and David Graeber. His first English book is Radiation and Revolution (Duke University Press, September 2020). 

Thomas Lamarre (he/him) teaches in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. Publications include studies of the relation between animation techniques and technologies (The Anime Machine, 2009) and of the relation between television infrastructures and media ecologies of animation (The Anime Ecology, 2018). His current projects include research on the use of animals in the formation of media networks associated with colonialism and extraterritorial empire, and the consequent politics of animism and speciesism.

Franco “Bifo” Berardi (he/him) is a writer and a media-activist. In the 1970s he published the magazine A/traverso, and took part in the creation of Radio Alice, the first Italian free radio. In the following decades he published in various international journals and magazines such as Chimères, Metropoli, and Semiotexte. His recent books include And: Phenomenology of the End (Semiotexte, 2015), Futurability (Verso, 2017), Breathing: Chaos and Poetry (Semiotexte, 2018), and El Umbral (Tinta Limón, 2020). 


Recommended Readings:

Sabu Kohso, “Radiation, Pandemic, Insurrection,” The New Inquiry, December 14, 2020.

Mari Matsumoto and Sabu Kohso, “The Nuclear National Family,” The New Inquiry, September 15, 2017.

Sabu Kohso, “Mutation of the Triad: Totalitarianism, Fascism, and Nationalism in Japan,” e-flux, June 2014.

Sabu Kohso, Radiation and Revolution, Duke University Press, 2020


Sponsored by Northwestern University’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and the East Asia Research Forum.

Register Add to Calendar

Add Event To My Group:

Please sign-in