Setsu Shigematsu

Professional Bio 

Professor Shigematsu is an Associate Professor in the Media and Cultural Studies Department at the University of California, Riverside. She completed her Ph.D. at Cornell University, and did her postdoctoral research at Stanford University. She is the author of Scream from the Shadows: The Women's Liberation Movement in Japan (2012), and the co-editor of Militarized Currents: Towards a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific (2010), with Keith Camacho (UCLA). Professor Shigematsu directed, wrote and co-produced of Visions of Abolition (2011), a feature-length documentary film about the prison industrial complex and the prison abolition movement (92 min). She is the founder and Executive Director of S.T.R.O.N.G. Edutainment (Stories That Root Our Next Generation), a non-profit educational media organization that aims to transform dominant racial and gendered visual narratives by creating stories that model alternatives to heteronormativity, racism, and capitalist greed.

Area of Expertise 

I am a scholar of gender liberation, state violence, social movements, and alternative media. My research has focused on Japanese feminism, gendered state violence and militarization. I have actively practiced how to effectively disseminate research into public knowledge by producing a documentary film on prison abolition and by creating a new book series that translates eco-feminist philosophy into children’s fairytales and other media platforms. As scholars, I believe it is vital for us to not only publicize our expert knowledge and critique socio-cultural-economic problems, but even more crucial to educate and create examples of sustainable alternatives. For example, rather than only critiquing the prison industrial complex, it is crucial to demonstrate the viability of prison abolition in terms of sustainable alternatives and practices employed in communities to reduce harm. As a participant-researcher in the prison abolition movement, I produced a documentary film: Visions of Abolition, which has been adopted by colleges, universities, and community organizations across the nation. The film features Angela Davis and Ruth Gilmore and formerly incarcerated activists to enable audiences to understand and visualize the meaning of prison abolition. My work is thus deeply engaged with creating research-based practical, sustainable solutions and visible alternatives to dominant ideologies.

Workshop Locations 
Institutional Affiliation 
Professional Title 
Associate Professor