Graduate Directory

Jane Komori
  • Title
    • PhD Candidate
  • Division Humanities Division
  • Department
    • History of Consciousness Department
    • Critical Race and Ethnic Studies
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Humanities Building 1, N/A
  • Office Hours By appointment
  • Mail Stop No Mailstop

Research Interests

Mass incarceration of Japanese Canadians and Americans; Asian American and Canadian literatures and visual cultures; critical race and ethnic studies; settler colonial studies; labor history; race and capitalism; resource extraction. 

Biography, Education and Training


Jane Komori is a PhD candidate in the History of Consciousness Department, with designated emphases in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Feminist Studies, and Literature, at the University of California Santa Cruz. She holds a Bachelor of Arts First Class with Distinction in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies from Simon Fraser University and is a Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada doctoral fellow. She is the Managing Editor of Critical Ethnic Studies.

Jane's dissertation, Ghostly Labors: Japanese Canadians in Western Canada’s Settler Ecology, draws on fieldwork and analysis of oral history, archival materials, visual art, and her own family’s history to shift focus from the more often studied legal aspects of Japanese Canadian immigration and mass incarceration towards the community’s obscured labor histories and ecological knowledges. In doing so, she theorizes the settler ecology of the Canadian West as a complex of extractive and agricultural industries, driven by the recruitment of Japanese, Chinese, and Indigenous workers. Finally, the dissertation places emphasis on Japanese Canadian political practices—from foraging to labor organizing—that critique settler colonial extractivism. 

Jane's research is forthcoming or has been published in Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, Critical Ethnic Studies, Asia-Pacific Journal, Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences, Viewpoint MagazineThe Globe and MailTsunagu 2.0, Ricepaper Magazine, Currents: A Ricepaper Anthology, Matrix MagazineGUTS Canadian Feminist Magazine, and The Bulletin/Geppo. She is coauthor of a book written in collaboration with the Tonari Gumi Japanese Community Volunteers Association, Our Edible Roots: The Japanese Canadian Kitchen Garden



Honors, Awards and Grants


2022—Judy Yung Memorial Fellowship 

2021—Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, Wenner-Gren Foundation

2021—Specialists in Cultural and Academic Fields Fellowship, Japan Foundation

2021—Living Through Upheaval Grant, University of California Humanities Research Institute 

2021—Outstanding Teaching Award, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz 

2020—Fellow, Social Sciences and Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development Program, The Humanities Institute 

2019—Robert Cavooris Memorial Award for Community Activism, UC Santa Cruz

2019—Outstanding Teaching Assistant, History of Consciousness, University of California Santa Cruz

2019—Graduate Student Travel Grant, Association of Asian American Studies

2018-2022—Doctoral Fellow, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

2018—Summer Research Fellow, The Humanities Institute

2017—Robert C. Brown Award, Simon Fraser University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences 


Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Journals 

Forthcoming: “The Canadian ‘War of the Two Sugars’: Homegrown Sugar Beets and the Racial Stratification of Labour.” Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory, vol. 31, no. 2, 2023. 


 “‘Guilt by Association’: Japanese Canadians and the Nanjing Massacre Commemorative Day.” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, vol. 20, no. 16, 2022, pp. 1-15. 



Traces of Labor in the Concrete: Unsettling Race in the Pacific.” Critical Ethnic Studies, vol. 7, no. 2, 2022. 


“The United States at the Center of the Action: Mark Driscoll’s The Whites Are Enemies of Heaven.” Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences, vol. 30, no. 1, 2021, pp. 387-398.  


Writing for the Public

“Art Komori: Autodidact & Grandfather.” The Bulletin/Geppo, May 2022, pp. 8-10. 


“Hayao (Art) Komori.” The Globe and Mail, April 5, 2022, pp. B18. 


“Denbatsuke,” “Learning Kanji,” and “Matsutake.” Tsunagu 2.0, March 2022. 


“How to Run a Wildcat Strike Fund.” Viewpoint Magazine, January 2021. 


“Alien Histories: Yomogi and the 70th Anniversary of Japanese Canadians’ Return to the West Coast.” The Bulletin/Geppo, December 2018, pp. 34. 


“Matsutake, pine mushroom, or qámes?” The Bulletin/Geppo, September 2018, pp. 20.


Our Edible Roots: The Japanese Canadian Kitchen Garden. Tonari Gumi Japanese Community Volunteers Association, Gardening Committee, 2018. 


“Japanese Cheese.” Currents: A Ricepaper Anthology, 2017, pp. 20-37.  





Selected Presentations

Conference Presentations

 “‘White People Would Not Do This:’ Labor Histories of the Fraser River Fishing and Canning Industries, 1970-1950.” 2022 Association of Asian American Studies Conference. Denver, CO. 14-17 April 2022. 


 “Fishing for Tin Cans: Confluences of Japanese Canadian, Settler, and Indigenous histories in the Fraser River Delta.” The 2022 Harvard University Mahindra Humanities Center Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. Boston, MA. 25-26 March 2022. 


 “Foraging for ghosts: Yomogi spectrality in Steveston, British Columbia.” 2019 Society for Literature, Science, and Arts Conference. University of California Irvine. 7-9 November 2019. 


 “‘I Look Nature:’ Japanese Canadian Gardens in Settler Colonial Ecologies” 2019 Association of Asian American Studies 39th Conference. University of Wisconsin Madison. 25-27 April 2019. 


“Yellow Vein Virus, Rhizomania, and Sugar Beets: Spectral Sweetness and Yellow Peril in Western Canadian Agricultural Histories." Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Association 116th Annual Conference. University of Western Washington. 9-11 November 2018. 


 “Invasive, Indigenous, and Interstitial Species: Yomogi Spectrality on Unceded Coast Salish Territories.” Critical Ethnic Studies Association Conference. University of British Columbia. 21-24 June 2018. 


Invited Talks

“The Place of the Asian Diaspora in Struggles for Life and Freedom.” Board-sponsored panel for 2021 Association of Asian American Studies Conference. San Francisco, CA. 7-10 April 2021. 


“Foodways, Farming, and Community: Lessons from Nikkei Farms and Gardens.” Programming for Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II and the Demise of Civil Liberties exhibition in collaboration with the Dolores Huerta Foundation. San Francisco, CA. 18 April 2019. 


“Resilient (Agri)cultures: Japanese Canadian Contributions to British Columbia’s Food Landscapes.” Oral Histories from the Land and the Sea: A Night of Storytelling at the Sharing Farm. Richmond, BC. 29 June 2017. 


 “Rooted Labor: Intergenerational Food Production Knowledge.” SEEDBED: A Soil Symposium. University of California Santa Cruz. 26-27 April 2018. 


Selected Interviews 

"All Education is Political." APEX Express, 94.1 KPFA, Sept 10, 2020.  


"UCSC Grad Students Are on Strike for a Living Wage." Interview by Kim Kelly with Jane Komori and Stefan Yong. Teen Vogue, Feb 24, 2020.


"Farming and the Practice of Community Formation." The Humanities Institute, Nov 29, 2018. 


Teaching Interests

Graduate Student Instructor 

Summer 2022, Complicating Settler Colonialism: Migration, Race, and Place, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz 


Summer 2021, Eating the Other: The Racial Politics of Food in the United States, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz


Fall 2020, What is Species?: Race and the Nonhuman, History of Consciousness, UC Santa Cruz


Teaching Assistant 

Spring 2021, Research Methods and Writing, with Dr. Jennifer Kelly, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz 


Winter 2018, 2019, 2020, Writing for Artists, with Laurie Palmer, Art, UC Santa Cruz 


Spring 2019, Haunted by the Forgotten War: Literature and Film of the Korean War, Dr. Christine Hong, Literature, UC Santa Cruz 


Fall 2018, Introduction to Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Dr. Nick Mitchell, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, UC Santa Cruz