The Liu Institute approved nine Justice and Asia grants in 2022-23—more than any other year—to faculty and students for projects that examine justice and Asia from a range of perspectives, including social, political, economic, cultural, and historical.

“It’s exciting to add new projects while continuing to support the growth of existing collaborations,” said Liu Institute Director Michel Hockx.


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Diane Desierto and Garrett Pacholl, faculty-student team
“Environmental Activism and Legal Action: Holistic Climate Justice in the Philippines”

Benjamin Francis, graduate student
“Un(ful)filled Hopes: Ward-Level Empty Electoral Quota Seats for Women and Marginalized Communities in Nepal”

Clara Grillo, undergraduate student
“China’s ‘Later, Longer, Fewer’ Campaign and Intergenerational Transfers to Elderly Parents”

Daniel Graff, Clemens Sedmak, and William Purcell, faculty team
“Learning from the Struggle for Wage Justice in Bangladesh”

Victoria Hui, faculty
“Narrative Justice: When All is Lost”

Susan Ostermann and Isa Sheikh, faculty-student team
“Internal Democratization: Explaining the 2018 Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Merger in Pakistan”

Xian Wang, faculty
“Voices of ‘Comfort Women’ in China”


Anton Juan and Tarryn Chun, faculty team

“Embodied Justice: Mediating Asian Trauma and Memory through Performance”

Anton Juan and Tarryn Chun, professors in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre (FTT), expanded their “Theatre for Justice in Asia” project through the forum “Embodied Justice: Mediating Asian Trauma and Memory through Performance.”

The forum—which included visiting scholars and artists—explored how artists from Asia have used theatre to grapple with the legacies of historical trauma and serve as a site of reparative justice. The forum centered around the FTT production of “Tuko! Tuko!” or “The Princess of the Lizard Moon,” written and directed by Juan, which uses Japanese theatrical forms of Butoh, Bunraku, and Noh to confront the abuse of comfort women during World War II and modern-day sex slaves erased by historical negationism.

The forum included the following components:


Judy Celine Ick, professor of the Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines, delivered the lecture “Ghosted Justice: RD3RD and Asian Shakespeare” on April 19, 2023, about her work on the use of Shakespearean plays to mediate historical trauma and reflect on the current political turmoil of the Philippines.


Two workshops by Jaesang Rhee, a Korean director and playwright, were held in conjunction with Juan’s courses. These workshops directly involved students in the practice of creating justice-oriented theatre.


An artists’ forum took place in conjunction with the first performance of “Tuko! Tuko!” It featured Juan and Chun, Ick, Ree, and Xian Wang, a Notre Dame professor of East Asian languages and cultures, who commented on the show and broader themes.

Jessica McManus Warnell, Noriko Hanabusa, Anna Geltzer, Sisi Meng, and Amy Hixon, faculty team working with students

“Decent Work, Environmental Justice, and Fukushima”

A multidisciplinary team of Liu Institute faculty fellows escorted five students and one alumnus to Fukushima, Japan, in May 2023 to examine resiliency and social justice after the 2011 Fukushima triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear power plant accident.

Professors Jessica McManus Warnell (business ethics), Noriko Hanabusa (Japanese language and culture), Anna Geltzer (science, technology, and values) guided the five students with their individual projects over the course of the 10-day trip. The trip was a continuation of the “Energy, Justice, and Fukushima” project that began in 2018.

Undergraduate participants and research topics:

  • Maya Malackowski, finance major and innovation and entrepreneurship minor—small business resilience
  • Daniel Miranda-Pereya, accounting and economics major and Japanese minor—economic and social disparities of disaster victims
  • Bianca Feix, neuroscience and behavior major with minors in patient advocacy and Asian Studies—long-term mental health effects on parents
  • Carter Powers, environmental engineering major and Asian Studies minor—alternatives to nuclear power
  • Colin Linnen, finance and global affairs major—corporate transparency

Alumnus Robbie Wachter ’21, an environmental engineer, also joined the team as a visiting scholar. Watchter had previously worked on the project as a student and presented his findings at a conference as an undergraduate. In 2023, he published a paper that he worked with the Fukushima research team as an undergraduate—“Relationship between Coastal Hazard Countermeasures and Community Resilience in the Tōhoku Region of Japan Following the 2011 Tsunami” in the Natural Hazards Review in 2023.

The team was able to visit the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant visitors’ center and exterior of the plant in one of the tours that have recently begun to operate there. Very few people in the world have visited the site to witness firsthand the remnants of the four reactor buildings that still stood despite the 9.0 earthquake, 43-foot tsunami wave, and hydrogen explosions. The students were humbled by their opportunity to visit the site of one of the world’s most historic tragedies.

The students’ projects didn’t end with the trip to Japan. They will continue to meet with the faculty team to work on their research, which they plan to present during the 2023-24 academic year.

For more insight into this project, listen to the podcast "Fukushima – Resilience, Recovery, and Redemption" on ThinkND.

Shown here are (top to bottom, left to right) the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant; the Notre Dame research team with farmers Yoshitomo and Hiroko Yokota, who formerly grew pears and plums, but now grow flowers; the Notre Dame research team on a tour outside the Daiichi plant; the team at Deloitte Japan, which supported the region after the disasters; piles of bags containing radioactive soil; and alumnus Robbie Wachter, a water resources engineer, on a seawall on the Fukushima coast.