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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

2019-2020 Academic Year

Fall 2019

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 Digital Asia
Cross-listed with ANTH 245-01. Ours is a digital age. Digital technologies and data systems increasingly pervade our lives. They keep us informed, connect us to others, shape our views of the world, and track our behaviors. The countries of Asia, especially East Asia, are no exception. There we find some of the most hyper-connected societies on the planet, where distinctions between offline and online are just as fuzzy as they are here. This course examines the social effects of digital technologies in the Asian region. It treats the digital expansively, placing mobile devices, social media platforms, and games alongside robotics, smart devices, and algorithmic systems of control. In the course, students will deepen their understanding of Asian digital culture by reading the work of established scholars. In addition, they will gain some experience using online tools to analyze relationships in Asian digital worlds.

ANTH 245 Digital Asia
Cross-listed with EASN 206-02. Ours is a digital age. Digital technologies and data systems increasingly pervade our lives. They keep us informed, connect us to others, shape our views of the world, and track our behaviors. The countries of Asia, especially East Asia, are no exception. There we find some of the most hyper-connected societies on the planet, where distinctions between offline and online are just as fuzzy as they are here. This course examines the social effects of digital technologies in the Asian region. It treats the digital expansively, placing mobile devices, social media platforms, and games alongside robotics, smart devices, and algorithmic systems of control. In the course, students will deepen their understanding of Asian digital culture by reading the work of established scholars. In addition, they will gain some experience using online tools to analyze relationships in Asian digital worlds.