Her research project, “Performing Aspirations: Love and Revolution in Nepali Progressive Song,” is a cultural history and ethnography of Nepal’s progressive and revolutionary song movement, with particular attention to love. Though leftist artists often disdain mainstream love songs as bourgeois, love itself remains a theme in revolutionary songs and sung dramas, transformed according to performers’ ideals and party artistic ideologies of music, lyrics, and dance. Through ethnographic fieldwork on progressive cultural groups’ performances and rehearsal process, and archival attention to artistic production and criticism since 1960, the project traces how how leftist artists have tried to create utopian ways of living and loving, through embodying and expressing revolutionary sensibilities.
On March 5, 2017, SPAS Lecturer Debito Arudou had a column published in Japan’s largest English-language newspaper, The Japan Times, entitled “Government of Japan, survey thyself”.
The article talked about the Ministry of Justice’s first nationwide survey of discrimination against Non-Japanese residents in Japan. This unprecedented survey mailed 18,500 registered foreigners, was comprehensive in scope and well-intentioned in purpose, but Debito pointed out that it had one huge blind spot (aside from calling the issue “foreigner discrimination”, not “racial discrimination”): no questions were asked on how government policies and bureaucratic actions were also part of the cause.