Junki Nakahara

Junki Nakahara, Ph.D.

  • Stanford Next Asia Policy Postdoctoral Fellow, 2023-2025


Junki Nakahara recently defended her dissertation and has completed her doctorate in Communication at American University (AU), Washington DC. Her research interests include nationalism and xenophobia, critical and cultural studies, feminist media studies, and postcolonial/decolonial IR. She holds a B.Ed. in Educational Psychology from the University of Tokyo and an MA in Intercultural and International Communication from AU. 

Her dissertation integrated computational text mining, social network analysis, and critical discourse analysis to examine the discursive (re)construction of Japanese identity (“Japaneseness”) and its entanglement with xenophobia/racism, historical revisionism, and sexism in the hybrid media system. In the next five years, she will develop her dissertation into a book project while expanding it into a comparative study for large-scale theory building on hybrid media and nationalism in cross-cultural contexts.

During her PhD studies, Junki also worked as an adjunct instructor at AU’s School of International Service for the past two years. Her courses focused on the institutionalization and contestation of power dynamics between the US and East Asian countries, war memory and reconciliation, nationalism, and Asian immigration to the US.

As an inaugural member of the Next Asia Policy Lab at APARC, Junki will primarily lead the “Nationalism and Racism” research group. Leveraging her expertise in media and communication studies and employing cutting-edge approaches such as “big data” analytics, she also intends to explore further how today’s digital communication technologies give voice to marginalized communities but simultaneously amplify powerful or even manipulative voices, hoping to add to the academic discussions on democratic backsliding and its intersections with media and technology in East Asia.

Current research