- CERi Programs
- Ethics of CER
- CER Network
- Recap: Cultural Sensitivity and Community-Engaged Research
- Understanding the sexual and reproductive health access of young im/migrant women: A community engagement project
- Gardening Initiative Helps to Address Food Insecurity
- Innovative Research That's Advancing Equity
- Symposium Panel Spotlight on Research as Advocacy: Collaborative Inquiry Meets Material Practice
- Symposium Panel Spotlight on Art-ful Engagement in Small Cities: Beyond the Project
- Symposium Panel Spotlight on Land as Life: Ongoing Institutional Resistance and Survivance in Pandemic Times
- Heather De Forest on the Collective Power of Academic Libraries for Below the Radar
- Recap: Approaching Community-Engaged Research Through a Trauma Informed Lens
- Empowering youth in Surrey through leadership
- Introducing Namiko Kunimoto, CERi Researcher-in-Residence
- LGBTQ2 Communities and SFU Students Come Together to Improve Access to Mental Health Services
- Introducing Tammara Soma, CERi Researcher-in-Residence
- Angela Kaida on Engaging Community in HIV Research for Below the Radar
- Introducing Justine Chambers, CERi Artist-in-Residence
- Jessie Williams joins CERi Advisory Board
- Upcoming Events
- Field Stories: CER in times of crisis
Introducing Namiko Kunimoto, CERi Researcher-in-Residence
Kunimoto is a specialist in modern and contemporary Japanese art, with research interests in gender, race, urbanization, photography, visual culture, performance art, transnationalism and nation formation. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art and the Director of the Center for Ethnic Studies at Ohio State University.
Joining CERi, Kunimoto is most excited about being immersed in community-engaged work. “One of the things I’m most excited about is that SFU has such a well-developed community-engagement program and I’ll be able to work with a group of scholars that are already practicing community-engaged research.”
One of the things I’m most excited about is that SFU has such a well-developed community-engagement program and I’ll be able to work with a group of scholars that are already practicing community-engaged research.
Kunimoto describes feeling a natural connection to community-engaged research largely because of her positionality in academia and lived experiences. “I grew up living in poverty and faced racism when I was younger. When you move from that environment to the upper echelons of the ivory tower, you begin to realize that it’s predominantly white—it makes it clear there needs to be changes so that people from underprivileged backgrounds can feel safe and active in this environment.”
For Kunimoto, a highlight of her work has been becoming the Director of Ethnic Studies at Ohio State University and being in relationships with people who are Black, Indigenous or people of colour. “At the Center, I work with other faculty and graduate assistants who are all BIPOC—it’s built for me a community of friends and colleagues who are BIPOC and share my values closely.”
Throughout her research, she has maintained her energy for social activism, and is passionate about changing institutional structures toward anti-racist goals.
Community feels connected to broader social concerns for Kunimoto. “When I think about community, I think about the Indigenous peoples whose lands the university sits on, people who don’t have access to post-secondary education, people who might not have a post-secondary education but are just as valuable as someone who has a PhD,” she says.
Kunimoto is in Vancouver this spring for her sabbatical. She’s working on a new book project called Transpacific Erasures: Contemporary Art, Gender, Race and the Afterlives of Japanese Imperialism, where she will be examining how contemporary artists in Japan and America have dealt with the aftermath of the Pacific War. As part of her research, she will be connecting with Japanese artists in Vancouver, utilizing resources at 312 Main, and visiting the Nikkei Heritage Centre in Burnaby.
“Social connections are so important to fuel ongoing work and building community is the only way to productively get through oppressions people experience every day.”