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(ENVS Lunch & Learn) Bioethics in the 30th century: ecology, eschatology and empire in Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaa manga

February 12, 2015 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


The Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki is widely considered to be the world’s greatest animator. His many films include the classic ecological science fiction movie, Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind, set in the 30th century in a post apocalyptic world where a toxic environment threatens what is left of humanity. Less well known but even more interesting is the seven volume manga version that Miyazaki finished long after the movie’s release. A dense and morally complex vision the Nausicaa manga explores dynamics of interspecies rivalry in a world where humans are not necessarily paramount.

This talk examines the issues of bioethics and biopower that arise from the manga, seeking to understand whether Miyazaki’s ultimate message is utopian or apocalyptic.

Susan Napier went to Harvard for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She has more than twenty years of teaching experience at universities such as the University of Texas, Harvard University, Penn State, Princeton, the University of London and lastly, Tufts University. Her research interests include Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga), modern Japanese literature, popular culture, science fiction and fantasy among others. She has published several books and many articles on anime and popular culture. And she’s currently writing a book on the films and manga of Hayao Miyazaki, Japan’s greatest living animator and arguably the greatest animator in the world today.


Every week during the academic year, the ENVS Lunch & Learn lecture series features speakers from government, industry, academia and non-profit organizations to give presentations on environmental topics. This is a great opportunity to broaden your knowledge beyond the curriculum, meet other faculty and students and network with the speakers.

Students, faculty, staff, and visitors are welcome to attend.

Food is generously sponsored by the Tufts Institute of the Environment.

You can’t make it to the talk? No problem!


Rabb Room, Lincoln Filene Center


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