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DePaul Humanities Center

DHC poster for 22-23 Humanities Laureate Event with Stanley Qiufan CHEN
  • Tara Betts
    • Dr. Tara Betts is the author of Refuse to Disappear, Break the Habit, Arc & Hue. Her speculative fiction and sci-fi-related writing has been published in Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements, Cicada, Luminescent Threads, and Midnight & Indigo: Twenty-Two Speculative Stories by Black Women Writers. She served as the inaugural Poet for The People Practitioner Fellow at University of Chicago. Betts currently teaches at DePaul University and serves as poetry poetry editor for The Langston Hughes Review. She is also founder of the nonprofit organization The Whirlwind Learning Center on Chicago’s South Side.
  • John Shanahan
    • John Shanahan is an Associate Dean and Professor of English at DePaul University. His research interests include seventeenth- and eighteenth-century English literature, the history of science and technology, science fiction, and digital humanities. He contributed to the English translation of The Wandering Earth Film Production Handbook, a book-length account of China's highest-grossing sci fi film and has an article forthcoming on Liu Cixin's award-winning sci fi trilogy "Three Body."

photograph of DHC Director Yuki Miyamoto
Meet Our New Director!

Professor Miyamoto received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Divinity School in 2003 and joined DePaul as a visiting assistant professor the same year. In 2006, she became an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 2012, and to full professor in 2021. She teaches nuclear ethics and environmental ethics in the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul. Her work centers on nuclear discourse, and includes the books, Beyond the Mushroom Cloud (Fordham University Press, 2011), and Naze genbaku ga aku dewa nainoka (Narrative Divergence in Nuclear Discourse between the US and Japan) (Iwanami shoten, 2020), in addition to several articles (including, “In the Light of Hiroshima” and “Gendered Bodies in Tokusatsu”). The uncanny commonalities of systemic violence manifested after 2011’s Fukushima nuclear accident and Minamata’s environmental destruction half a century earlier urged Miyamoto to examine environmental ethics and praxis in Minamata, culminating in her most recent monograph, A World Otherwise: Environmental Praxis in Minamata (Lexington Books, 2021). Her current academic work examines discriminatory treatments in Japan against the irradiated bodies of sufferers from Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Fukushima.

She was twice chosen as a DePaul Humanities Center Faculty Fellow (2008–2009; 2017–2018), and she began serving as a member of the DHC's Executive Committee in 2020. A respected leader and educator, Professor Miyamoto values collaboration and understands the importance of combining scholarly work with outreach. She has taken DePaul students to Hiroshima and Nagasaki since 2005 on a biannual study abroad program. In May 2022, she worked with CPS teachers to launch a two-week pilot program teaching six graders about nuclear issues. She was appointed Nagasaki Peace Correspondent in 2010 and Hiroshima Peace Ambassador in 2011. She has worked in collaboration with several institutions in Chicago and beyond to strengthen ties between DePaul and other entities concerned with environmental ethics.

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