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Pacific Islanders: Environmental Activism and the American University

Examine the role of climate displacement and learn how TCU plans to give back to communities in need. 


What You’ll Learn

In this lecture, you’ll journey to the Pacific Islands to examine the environmental impacts of nuclear testing and climate change on the indigenous populations of the islands. Dr. Ireland will walk you through the implications of these environmental issues on the culture of the islands, and examine the ways that the people are adapting to their ever-changing natural environments. Finally, he’ll give a glimpse into the innovative way TCU plans to start giving back to these communities in need.

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About Dr. Ireland

Benjamin Hiramatsu Ireland is Assistant Professor of French at Texas Christian University, holding additional faculty affiliations in Women and Gender Studies, Comparative Race & Ethnic Studies, and Asian and Middle East Studies. Professor Ireland received his Ph.D. in French from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and completed his B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) in French and East Asian Studies at Davidson College. He pursued comparative French and Japanese literary studies at the Université Paris IV-Sorbonne and Kyushu University. Professor Ireland was a fellow at the Institute of French Cultural Studies at Dartmouth and has lectured as a Visiting Scholar for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.

His research and teaching explore Francophone literature and cinema, 20th century French literature, Critical Theory, Postcolonial Studies, and Gender and Sexuality Studies. His trans-oceanic approach to the Francophone world places North and East African literatures in south-track dialogues with trans-Pacific literary productions of the Indian Ocean and Asia Pacific. His current book project examines the role métis Japanese-New Caledonian children played during the incarceration process of Japanese migrants from New Caledonia during World War II. Professor Ireland’s research has recently engaged exchanges between France and Japan through film, Queer Studies, and comparative literary studies of Roland Barthes and Yukio Mishima’s works. Other ongoing research projects include analyzing colonial epidemiology in the Mascarene Islands and exploring how “Queer Asia” intersects the works of Proust, Genet, and contemporary Japanese artists.

He has presented at international conferences and has published in tier-one journals, including the International Journal of Francophone Studies, Contemporary Journal of French and Francophone Studies, Modern Language Review, among numerous others. An advocate for community and technology-based learning, Professor Ireland has received distinguished university honors for his undergraduate teaching and mentoring. He has served as a faculty advisor to international, first generation, and LGBTQIA students.