University of California, Riverside

Faculty Profile System

Setsu Shigematsu

Setsu Shigematsu

Associate Professor

Media and Cultural Studies
3122 INTS
(951) 827-5679


  • Ph.D., Cornell University


Professor Shigematsu completed her Ph.D. at Cornell University, with training across the fields of Asian/Japan Studies, Asian American Studies, feminist and gender studies. Her intellectual and scholarly concerns include the historical relationship between U.S. and Japanese imperialisms, transnational liberation movements, comparative feminist and critical theory, and media and cultural studies.

Professor Shigematsu is the director, writer and co-producer of Visions of Abolition, a new feature-length documentary about the prison industrial complex and the prison abolition movement (92 min). The film documents the rise of the prison industrial complex in the U.S. in relation to the history of slavery, capitalism and the war on drugs. Visions of Abolition focuses on women's experience in the prison system and their activism in the prison abolition movement, providing a critical exposé of the racial and gender violence perpetuated by the prison system. Designed as a teaching tool, this film is being used in university and college courses across the nation and internationally. DVDs are available at

Professor Shigematsu is the founder of the Guardian Princess Alliance (GPA), an organization that aims to transform traditional cultural representations of princesses and create better role models for children. The GPA is creating a new series of children's books featuring racially and culturally diverse princesses who protect the people and the planet, combining fantasy and anime aesthetics with current global issues.


  • Dr. Shigematsu's monograph, Scream from the Shadows: The Women's Liberation Movement in Japan(spring 2012), offers the first sustained analysis of this radical feminist movement that emerged in 1970, with its lessons for contemporary politics. This book provides a history of this movement's formation amid the radicalism of the late-1960s, its politics, internal dynamics and its contributions to feminist politics across and beyond Japan.
  • She is also the co-editor of Militarized Currents: Towards a Decolonized Future in Asia and the Pacific (2010), with Keith Camacho (UCLA). This anthology examines the militarization of Asia and the Pacific as an extension of U.S. and Japanese colonialisms in the region, with a focus on gender and indigenous resistance.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Department of Media & Cultural Studies
3149 INTS

Tel: (951) 827-3456
Fax: (951) 827-5664