Staff, Lecturers, & Contributors
Peter J Kuznick, Director
Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, is author of Beyond the Laboratory: Scientists As Political Activists in 1930s America (University of Chicago Press), co-author with Akira Kimura of Rethinking the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Japanese and American Perspectives (Horitsu Bunkasha, 2010), co-author with Yuki Tanaka of Genpatsu to hiroshima – genshiryoku heiwa riyo no shinso (Nuclear Power and Hiroshima: The Truth Behind the Peaceful Use of Nuclear Power (Iwanami, 2011), and co-editor with James Gilbert of Rethinking Cold War Culture (Smithsonian Institution Press).
A New York native, he received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1984. He was active in the Civil Rights and anti-Vietnam War movements and remains active in antiwar and nuclear abolition efforts. In 1995, he founded American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute. That year, on the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombings, his Institute co-hosted a major exhibit with the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which displayed many of the artifacts that were originally supposed to be part of the Smithsonian’s ill-fated Enola Gay exhibit. Every summer, since 1995, he has taken Institute students on a study-abroad class in Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. The Institute was named the most creative and innovative summer program in North America by the North American Association of Summer Sessions.
In 2003, Kuznick organized a group of scholars, writers, artists, clergy, and activists to protest the Smithsonian’s celebratory display of the Enola Gay at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum annex. As part of this effort, he cofounded the Committee for a National Discussion of Nuclear History and Current Policy and the Nuclear Education Project with Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba and professors Mark Selden and John Dower. His current projects include a book on scientists and the Vietnam War and another that looks at how the evolving understanding that nuclear war could lead to annihilation of all life on the planet has shaped the behavior and views of military strategists, policymakers, and the public. He and Oliver Stone co-authored the 10 part Showtime documentary film series and book both titled The Untold History of the United States. He regularly provides commentary for all the major U.S. and international media and has begun his fourth three-year term as Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer.
Allen Pietrobon, Assistant Director of Research
Allen’s teaching and research subjects generally cover American history 1865-present, specializing in Cold War history, humanitarianism, peace activism, and American foreign policy. Since 2011 Allen has served as an Assistant Director of Research at American University’s Nuclear Studies Institute and has traveled to Hiroshima, Nagasaki and most recently, Chernobyl, to pursue his interest in the global history of nuclear weapons. Allen’s current research explores early Cold War origins of “citizen diplomacy” by examining the impact that prominent American journalist, Norman Cousins, had on American public discourse and foreign policy during the early Cold War. Cousins and many other border crossing citizen diplomats sought to challenge orthodox American policies and also to propose new avenues towards peace and security. During the Cold War, various American citizens from diverse backgrounds, fed up with the pitfalls of contemporary U.S. policy, sought to spread their ideas through international travel and informal diplomacy.
Satoko Oka Norimatsu, Director of Peace Philosophy Centre
Satoko Oka Norimatsu is Director of Peace Philosophy Centre. Co-author (with Gavan McCormack) of Resistant Islands: Okinawa Confronts Japan and the United States (2012), and『沖縄の怒－日米への抵抗』 [Anger of Okinawa: Resistance against Japan and US] (2013). She is a Japan Focus coordinator.
He is a historian working on social and cultural aspects of nuclear technologies. His earlier work focused on nuclear representation and cultural narratives in early Cold War America, but his current work has more to do with cultural and social aspects of radiation exposures in communities and families. This is primarily centered on work at nuclear test sites around the world but also includes nuclear production sites and nuclear power plant disaster sites. He is the project leader of the Global Hibakusha Project which focuses on both scholarly and applied work in radiation exposed communities. He has also been very involved in media discourse surrounding the Fukushima nuclear disaster here in Japan.
Koko Tanimoto Kondo (Hibakusha and Lecturer)
Koko Kondo, birth name Koko Tanimoto, is a prominent hibakusha (atomic bomb survivor), and is the daughter of Kiyoshi Tanimoto, a Methodist minister famous for his work for the Hiroshima Maidens. Both appear in John Hersey’s book, Hiroshima.