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

2018-2019 Academic Year

Fall 2018

EASN 206 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with ANTH 245-04. For much of the 20th century, East Asia was known as a region of youth. In the past few decades, however, societies in East Asia have grown markedly older. This course examines the causes and consequences of declining fertility and population aging in East Asia. It looks at the impact of this changing population composition on attitudes toward reproduction, marriage, family, and gender in the region, particularly in China and Japan. Our exploration of these issues will be guided primarily by anthropological and historical accounts. By the end of the semester, students will be required to complete a research paper related to course themes.

ANTH 245 Babies and Boomers
Cross-listed with EASN 206-01. For much of the 20th century, East Asia was known as a region of youth. In the past few decades, however, societies in East Asia have grown markedly older. This course examines the causes and consequences of declining fertility and population aging in East Asia. It looks at the impact of this changing population composition on attitudes toward reproduction, marriage, family, and gender in the region, particularly in China and Japan. Our exploration of these issues will be guided primarily by anthropological and historical accounts. By the end of the semester, students will be required to complete a research paper related to course themes.

Spring 2019

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

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

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