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Nia Whitmal


Nia is a PhD student originally from Amherst, Massachusetts who completed her BA in anthropology from Yale University in May 2021. She is interested in Afro-Japanese encounters and their manifestations in visual and material cultural productions from the 20th and 21st century. She hopes to study these instances of racial mimesis within the fluid, ever-changing socio historical contexts of Japanese national identity formation and Black liberation movements. As the focus and forms of Black liberation movements shift and Japan’s aspirational national identity evolves, how do these forces answer one another? In what ways and why do these two narratives reference one another?  In combination, what impact do such phenomena wield upon Black Americans, Black hafu, and additional ethnic minorities (e.g. Zainichi Koreans) living in Japan? She will supplement her research with film and manga analysis, material culture analysis, and advertisements. 



nationalism, Afro-Asia, Japan, Black America, transnational, cultural exports


  • Anthropology