Faculty Profile

Shawn Bender

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies (2006)

Contact Information

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

2015-2016 Academic Year

Fall 2015

FYSM 100 First-Year Seminar
The First-Year Seminar (FYS) introduces students to Dickinson as a "community of inquiry" by developing habits of mind essential to liberal learning. Through the study of a compelling issue or broad topic chosen by their faculty member, students will: - Critically analyze information and ideas - Examine issues from multiple perspectives - Discuss, debate and defend ideas, including one's own views, with clarity and reason - Develop discernment, facility and ethical responsibility in using information, and - Create clear academic writing The small group seminar format of this course promotes discussion and interaction among students and their professor. In addition, the professor serves as students' initial academic advisor. This course does not duplicate in content any other course in the curriculum and may not be used to fulfill any other graduation requirement.

EASN 206 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with ANTH 245-01.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.

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.

Spring 2016

HEST 250 National Futures
Cross-listed with INBM 300-04, INST 290-03 and PMGT 290-02. This course explores policies and controversies related to reproductive health in the United States, Japan, and Israel. Along with assessing the success and/or failure of public policy to support fertility and reproductive health, students will compare and contrast the health systems of the three countries. Students will also examine ethnographically cultures of infant and maternal health, and apply the World Health Organization’s building block approach to clarify linkages among health system components, measure health system performance, and assess attempted reforms on system-wide outcomes. At the conclusion of the semester, class members will travel to Israel to visit Ben Gurion University of the Negev to gain a deeper, comparative understanding of the Israeli health system.

PMGT 290 National Futures
Cross-listed with HEST 250-01, INBM 300-04 and INST 290-03. This course explores policies and controversies related to reproductive health in the United States, Japan, and Israel. Along with assessing the success and/or failure of public policy to support fertility and reproductive health, students will compare and contrast the health systems of the three countries. Students will also examine ethnographically cultures of infant and maternal health, and apply the World Health Organization’s building block approach to clarify linkages among health system components, measure health system performance, and assess attempted reforms on system-wide outcomes. At the conclusion of the semester, class members will travel to Israel to visit Ben Gurion University of the Negev to gain a deeper, comparative understanding of the Israeli health system.

INST 290 National Futures
Cross-listed with HEST 250-01, INBM 300-04 and PMGT 290-02. This course explores policies and controversies related to reproductive health in the United States, Japan, and Israel. Along with assessing the success and/or failure of public policy to support fertility and reproductive health, students will compare and contrast the health systems of the three countries. Students will also examine ethnographically cultures of infant and maternal health, and apply the World Health Organization’s building block approach to clarify linkages among health system components, measure health system performance, and assess attempted reforms on system-wide outcomes. At the conclusion of the semester, class members will travel to Israel to visit Ben Gurion University of the Negev to gain a deeper, comparative understanding of the Israeli health system.

INBM 300 National Futures
Cross-listed with HEST 250-01, INST 290-03 and PMGT 290-02. This course explores policies and controversies related to reproductive health in the United States, Japan, and Israel. Along with assessing the success and/or failure of public policy to support fertility and reproductive health, students will compare and contrast the health systems of the three countries. Students will also examine ethnographically cultures of infant and maternal health, and apply the World Health Organization’s building block approach to clarify linkages among health system components, measure health system performance, and assess attempted reforms on system-wide outcomes. At the conclusion of the semester, class members will travel to Israel to visit Ben Gurion University of the Negev to gain a deeper, comparative understanding of the Israeli health system.

EASN 490 Senior Research
Leading to a senior thesis and jointly supervised by at least two faculty in the program.