Faculty Profile

Shawn Bender

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies (2006)

Contact Information

on sabbatical Spring 2017

benders@dickinson.edu

Stern Center for Global Educ Room 001
717.245.1817

Bio

Professor Bender earned his doctorate in cultural anthropology at the University of California, San Diego in 2003. At Dickinson he teaches courses on contemporary Japanese society, popular culture, music, demographic change, health and aging, and technology. Since the late 1990s, Prof. Bender has conducted ethnographic fieldwork with taiko drumming groups in Japan. This scholarship is the basis of his book entitled Taiko Boom: Japanese Drumming in Place and Motion (2012, UC Press). He has also examined the introduction of traditional musical instruments in primary and secondary school curricula in Japan. More recently, his research has focused on the connections among discourses of demographic crisis, changes in elder care, and the development of robotics in Japan and Europe. This work has taken him both to Japan and to Denmark (where some Japanese robotics technologies have found a home). Prof. Bender is also affiliated with the department of Anthropology at Dickinson and the Health Studies Certificate Program. He has received numerous research grants from such institutions as the Japan Foundation and the Japanese Ministry of Education. His publications have appeared in the Journal of Asian Studies and in Social Science Japan Journal.

Education

  • B.A., University of Minnesota, 1992
  • M.A., University of California at San Diego, 1996
  • Ph.D., 2003

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

EASN 206 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with ANTH 245-02. The rapid economic growth of Asia in the past several decades has led to equally rapid social transformation. This course takes the family as a lens through which to understand this social change. It explores shifts and continuities in both conceptions of family life and the composition of families themselves. The causes and effects of lowered fertility and increased longevity in Asia, particularly in China and Japan, receive special emphasis. Course materials draw from social scientific and historical accounts. In addition to normal coursework, students will be required to write a research paper on a topic related to course themes.

EASN 206 Samurai & Geisha: Fact & Fict
There are perhaps no more iconic figures in Japanese culture than the samurai and geisha. Popular as they are, many misconceptions remain about their roles throughout Japanese history. This course explores the lived experiences of samurai and geisha in Japan as well as the myths that have developed around them. Course materials draw on historical texts, ethnographic studies, and fictional depictions of samurai and geisha in film and media.

ANTH 236 Japanese Society
Cross-listed with EASN 236-01.

EASN 236 Japanese Society
Cross-listed with ANTH 236-01.

ANTH 245 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with EASN 206-02. The rapid economic growth of Asia in the past several decades has led to equally rapid social transformation. This course takes the family as a lens through which to understand this social change. It explores shifts and continuities in both conceptions of family life and the composition of families themselves. The causes and effects of lowered fertility and increased longevity in Asia, particularly in China and Japan, receive special emphasis. Course materials draw from social scientific and historical accounts. In addition to normal coursework, students will be required to write a research paper on a topic related to course themes.