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Faculty Profile

Shawn Bender

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies and Anthropology/Archaeology (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

2019-2020 Academic Year

Spring 2020

ANTH 101 Intro to Cultural Anthropology
This course is a comprehensive introduction to how cultural anthropologists study culture and society in diverse contexts. We will use ethnographic case studies from across the world to examine the ways people experience and transform social relationships and culture in areas including families, gender, ethnicity, health, religion, exchange, science, and even what it means to be a person. We will examine how culture and society are embedded within, shape, and are shaped by forces of economics, politics, and environment. Offered every semester.

WGSS 302 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with ANTH 345-01 and EASN 306-01.Students who have previously taken ANTH 245/EASN 206 “Babies and Boomers” cannot take/receive credit for this class. For much of the 20th century, East Asia was known as a region of the young. In the past few decades, however, the region has grown markedly older. Countries like China, which used to be concerned about having too many people, now worry about not having enough people to sustain a larger population of seniors. This course examines the causes and consequences of declining fertility and population aging in East Asia. It looks at the impact of changing population composition on attitudes toward reproduction, marriage, family, and gender in the region, particularly in China and Japan. Course materials draw primarily from the work of anthropologists and historians. By the end of the semester, students will complete a research paper on issues related to demographic change in the region.

EASN 306 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with ANTH 345-01 and WGSS 302-01.Students who have previously taken ANTH 245/EASN 206 “Babies and Boomers” cannot take/receive credit for this class. For much of the 20th century, East Asia was known as a region of the young. In the past few decades, however, the region has grown markedly older. Countries like China, which used to be concerned about having too many people, now worry about not having enough people to sustain a larger population of seniors. This course examines the causes and consequences of declining fertility and population aging in East Asia. It looks at the impact of changing population composition on attitudes toward reproduction, marriage, family, and gender in the region, particularly in China and Japan. Course materials draw primarily from the work of anthropologists and historians. By the end of the semester, students will complete a research paper on issues related to demographic change in the region.

ANTH 345 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with EASN 306-01 and WGSS 302-01.Students who have previously taken ANTH 245/EASN 206 “Babies and Boomers” cannot take/receive credit for this class. For much of the 20th century, East Asia was known as a region of the young. In the past few decades, however, the region has grown markedly older. Countries like China, which used to be concerned about having too many people, now worry about not having enough people to sustain a larger population of seniors. This course examines the causes and consequences of declining fertility and population aging in East Asia. It looks at the impact of changing population composition on attitudes toward reproduction, marriage, family, and gender in the region, particularly in China and Japan. Course materials draw primarily from the work of anthropologists and historians. By the end of the semester, students will complete a research paper on issues related to demographic change in the region.