I give talks in the UK and overseas on animals and law, law and nature, and gender issues. My audiences include universities, think tanks, NGOs, art collectives, and research centres. The aim of my talks is to provoke and to encourage critical thinking within a collaborative team. If you would like to engage me, please get in touch with your proposed dates and topic, and I will respond with my availability and rates. I am happy to participate virtually, as well as in person.
Selected Recent Talks
December 10, 2018 in Paris, France at the Collège d’études Mondiales, for a project funded by the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme
During the 2016-17 academic year I gave talks at the British Institute for International and Comparative Law, SOAS, The University of New South Wales, Oxford University, Kent University (Paris campus and also at the UK campus for the Critical Legal Conference), Birmingham University, Leicester University, Lund University, and Helsinki University, by invitation. Recently I was invited by the Heinrich Böll Foundation to take part in a 'deep dive’ with a group of experts on the topic of global commons. You can watch a film made at that meeting here. I spoke at the Oxford branch launch of the Women’s Equality Party, on an expert panel at Kings College (the Transnational Law Summer Institute), on an expert panel for Lawyers without Borders at the Oxford Martin School, and was invited to give a keynote at Turku University. I have given over a hundred talks at international conferences and workshops over the preceding five years, including at the EHESS (Paris), the American University of Cairo, Harvard Law School, LSE, Keele University, Tel Aviv University, and the University of Tokyo, among others. I have given performances internationally, including a collaborative spoken word/dance performance with Anastaziya Tataryn at the Gordon Square Cinema in London.
I have convened several international academic conferences and workshops (some co-convened), including:
"Contract Law: New Directions" (SOAS, 2016)
"Making Milk" (EHESS, 2016)
"Gender, Law and War" (SOAS, 2016)
"Historicising International Environmental Law" (SOAS, 2015)
"Dogs, Pigs and Children: Changing Laws in 19th Century Colonial Britain" (SOAS, 2013)
"Law and the Question of the Animal" (online, 2012)
"The Phenomenology of Global Order" (SOAS, 2011)
"Global Law" (Keele, 2011)
"New Natures" (international remote public seminar series, Melbourne, 2010)
"Law and the Question of the Animal" (Melbourne, 2009)
I have extensive experience teaching at leading universities around the world, at graduate and postgraduate levels. Before becoming an Educational Consultant I was a tenured Senior Law Lecturer at the University of London until 2017, where I was nominated for the Director's Inspirational Teaching prize. I have taught at Keele University (UK), Birkbeck College, University of London (UK), and the University of Melbourne (Australia). I work as an external supervisor and examiner, upon request. Please get in touch if you are interested in me teaching any of the following intensive (masters-level) courses at your institution:
Global Commodities Law This course provides a critical introduction to the legal regulation of global commodities, with a focus on the colonial histories of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Taking some of the world’s most heavily exchanged primary commodities as examples, this course tracks the development of their production and consumption, from their domestic origins to their circulation in the global sphere today. The histories of the principle commodities such as coffee, cocoa, rubber, and oil tell the story of today’s global economy in microcosm. Most significantly, their evolving regulation has provided the base for many central elements of the contemporary international and transnational legal architecture. In exploring this history, the course also touches on cross-cutting issues relating to human rights, trade law, environmental law, food security, investment arbitration, anti-slavery, labour law and animal welfare law.
International Environmental Law This course focuses on international legal and institutional arrangements concerning the management of the environment. Beginning with a theoretical overview, the course progresses on to look at the substance and application of key principles of international environmental law (such as the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and the precautionary principle), issues related to the protection of the environment (air pollution, water use), the conservation of the environment (species, biological diversity), and the use/exploitation of environmental resources (trade in animal parts, genetic resources, genetically modified organisms). The course contextualizes the production and management of environmental issues in terms of the interests of institutional and political actors, which will help participants to develop a deep understanding of the problems at hand.
Law and Nature This course offers a theoretical introduction to thinking about law and nature. It begins by placing contemporary environmental and animal law within a global and historical context, leading to broader questions about changing conceptions of law and the animal, the human, and nature. While the first part focuses on substantive legal regimes (endangered species, forests, food animals, climate) the remainder of the course works to develop a critical understanding of how these regimes have been created in the way that they are, and why they succeed or fail. Drawing on postcolonial, critical, and feminist theory, and learning methodologies from adjacent disciplines such as history, human geography, anthropology, critical animal studies, gender studies, philosophy, and cultural studies, participants will acquire a range of analytic tools to challenge existing paradigms.
Testimonials from previous students on anonymised feedback forms: “The course was exceptionally stimulating to my understanding of global trade and its relationship to law.” “Her interdisciplinary approach to issues, spanning economics to anthropology and feminist theory, was greatly appreciated and necessary for a topic with such magnitude.” “I was inspired and encouraged to undertake independent research.” “Yoriko was great, supportive, and enthusiastic. Great course!” “This is one of the most interesting courses I have ever taken.” “One of the most stimulating courses at SOAS. Great lecturer very experienced and professional. The course made me change my perspective about the environment. Now I’m considering pursuing a career in this area.” “As a teacher Yoriko is motivating and enthusiastic, and has really changed the way I look at issue. She is an inspiring teacher. I found the quality of the lectures excellent.”
Dr. Otomo taught me Global Commodities Law at SOAS. I loved her classes because they were highly stimulating and rich in substance, and I always admired how each lecture was meticulously prepared for. She is certainly a brilliant, dedicated educator. Yoriko is also an excellent supervisor because she is personally attentive, and encourages creative, independent thought while providing generous guidance. She is very approachable, kind, and has genuine care for her students. I have benefited greatly from her teaching and support, as I am certain many others will. -Thessa (SOAS, Oxford)
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