(All posts, except for Incoming President, start on January 1 of the year following their election and serve until December 31 of the final year of the term)
Sonia RYANG (Rice University)
President 2020, 2021, Incoming President 2018, 2019, sonia.ryang[at] rice.edu
Sonia Ryang is the T.T. and W.F. Chao Professor of Asian Studies in Rice University. Her research interests are clustered around the issues of ethnological study of cultural logic and fundamental principle of a society, interactions between humans and the environment (including non-human animals and food), scientific knowledge, and social justice. She is particularly interested in anthropological study of North Korea on the one hand and scientific collaboration across national borders traversing Asia and the US on the other.
Ellen OXFELD (Middlebury College)
Incoming President 2020, 2021
Ellen Oxfeld has worked on a variety of topics in Chinese culture and society, including food, morality in reform era rural China, gender and family relations in rural China, as well as family, economy and identity in the Chinese diaspora. She has taught anthropology at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont since 1985.
Her most recent book, Bitter and Sweet: Food, Meaning and Morality in Rural China (University of California Press, 2017) examines the social and cultural role of food in rural China. Based on fieldwork in a Hakka Chinese village in southeast China, it considers a number of issues, including food’s role in labor and exchange, its centrality in historical memory, and its importance in ideas about moral obligation and sociality. Previous books include “Drink Water, but Remember the Source:” Moral Discourse in a Chinese Village (University of California Press, 2010), and Blood, Sweat and Mahjong: Family and Enterprise in an Overseas Chinese Community (Cornell University Press, 1993). She is co-editor, along with Lynellyn Long, of Coming Home? Refugees, Immigrants and Those Who Stayed Behind (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004). Currently she is working on a new project exploring meanings of commensality in contemporary China.
Glenda S. ROBERTS (Waseda University Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies)
President 2018, 2019, Incoming President 2016, 2017, Bestor Award Committee Chair 2016-2017 robertsglendas[at]gmail.com
Professor at the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies of Waseda University in Tokyo, her main areas of research are gender, family, and work in contemporary Japan, and immigration policy under demographic decline. She has authored Staying on the Line: Blue-Collar Women in Contemporary Japan (University of Hawaii Press, 1994) as well as Japan’s Evolving Family: Voices from Young Urban Adults Navigating Change (East-West Center, 2016), and co-edited several volumes, including, with Mike Douglass, Japan and Global Migration (University of Hawaii Press, 2003), and, with Satsuki Kawano and Susan O. Long, eds., Capturing Contemporary Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2014). Currently she has two research projects ongoing. One is a joint project with Dr. Hiroko Umegaki-Costantini of Sciences-Po and the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing on Work-life balance, care and well-being for families in Paris and Tokyo. The other is a JSPS-funded study on Stakeholders’ attitudes toward social integration and inclusion of newcomer foreign workers in farming areas of Japan. She also continues as a member of the Japanese Ministry of Justice’s 7th Advisory Board on Immigration Control.
Satsuki KAWANO (University of Guelph)
Secretary 2019-20-21 skawano [at]uoguelph.ca
Professor of Anthropology at the University of Guelph (Canada), Satsuki Kawano has conducted fieldwork-based projects in Japan focusing on ritual, personhood, childrearing, and disabilities. Major publications include Ritual Practice in Modern Japan (U. of Hawai’i Press), Nature’s Embrace: Japan’s Aging Urbanites and New Death Rites (U. of Hawai’i Press), and Capturing Contemporary Japan (with Glenda S. Roberts and Susan Orpett Long; U. of Hawai’i Press)xu. Currently she is exploring the politics of support provision for Japanese students with developmental disabilities. The research has been supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), the Social Science Research Council (US), the Japan Foundation, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.
Isaac GAGNE (German Institute for Japanese Studies)
Treasurer, 2020-21-22 gagne[at] dijtokyo.org
Isaac Gagné is a Senior Research Fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies and Managing Editor of the DIJ’s peer-reviewed journal Contemporary Japan. He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Yale University and has worked at the Waseda University Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and The University of Hong Kong. His research focuses on four broad fields of inquiry: 1) Gender, sexuality, and popular culture; 2) Religion, morality, and ethics; 3) Mental health, psychotherapy, and well-being; 4) Globalization and migration. His publications include “Dislocation, Social Isolation, and the Politics of Recovery in Post-Disaster Japan” (Transcultural Psychiatry, forthcoming), “Religious Globalization and Reflexive Secularization in a Japanese New Religion” (Japan Review, 2017), and the edited volume Japan through the lens of the Tokyo Olympics (co-edited with Barbara Holthus, Wolfram Manzenreiter, and Franz Waldenberger; Routledge, 2020).
John CHO (Sarah Lawrence College)
Councilor 2018-19-20 songpaecho [at]gmail.com
John (Song Pae) Cho is an Assistant Professor in Global Studies at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. His publications include “The Wedding Banquet Revisited: ‘Contract Marriages’ Between Korean Gays and Lesbians” (2009). His research interests include transnational LGBT studies, neoliberalism, and the Internet. He is currently completing his first book manuscript, The Luxury of Love: South Korean Gay Men, Internet, and the National Cybercloset, about LGBT community building in 21st century Seoul.
Gavin WHITELAW (Harvard University)
Councilor 2018-19-20 whitelaw[at] fas.harvard.edu
Gavin H. Whitelaw is a sociocultural anthropologist and Executive Director of Harvard University’s Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. His research focuses on issues of globalization, commerce, work, food, and consumer culture particularly in the context of contemporary Japan. Prior to coming to the Reischauer Institute, he was Senior Associate Professor of Anthropology and Japan Studies at International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo. His writings have appeared in journals including Anthropology of Work Review, Gastronomica and Contemporary Japan, and most recently in the edited volume, Capturing Contemporary Japan (Hawai’i 2014).
Nicholas HARKNESS (Harvard University)
Councilor 2019-20-21 harkness [at]fas.harvard.edm
Nicholas Harkness is Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. He specializes in the ethnographic study of communication and cultural semiosis. His research in South Korea has resulted in publications on various topics, including language, music, religion, kinship, liquor, and the city of Seoul. His book, Songs of Seoul: An Ethnography of Voice and Voicing in Christian South Korea (University of California Press, 2014), was awarded the Edward Sapir Book Prize by the Society for Linguistic Anthropology (American Anthropological Association). A number of his papers have been devoted to developing an anthropological approach to “qualia.” These papers incorporate the innovations of contemporary semiotics into the ethnographic theorization of sensuous social life. Harkness is currently finishing a book about glossolalia (“speaking in tongues”).
Andrew KIPNIS (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Councilor 2019-20-21 abkipnis [at]cuhk.edu.hk
Andrew Kipnis is professor of anthropology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research has explored a wide range of subjects, including social transformation, urbanization, education, subjectification, kinship, gender, ritual, gift exchange; economic, linguistic, political, social and cultural anthropology. Recent publications include 2017 “Governing the Souls of Chinese Modernity” (article with commentary), 2016 From Village to City: Social Transformation in a Chinese County Seat (University of California Press), and 2011 Governing Educational Desire: Culture, Politics and Schooling in China (University of Chicago Press, winner of the Francis Hsu book award).
Marvin STERLING (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Councilor 2020-21-22 mdsterli[at] indiana.edu
Marvin D. Sterling is Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of Anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington. His theoretical interests include cultural transnationalism, performance theory, race and global blackness, Afro-Asia, and human rights. His work centers regionally on Japan and Jamaica. He teaches courses on the globalization of African diasporic music, the circulation of racial discourse within and beyond the Western world, world fiction and cultural anthropology, the anthropology of contemporary Japan, and Afro-Caribbean popular culture as protest. He is author of “Babylon East: Performing Dancehall, Roots Reggae, and Rastafari in Japan” (2010, Duke University Press). His current research explores the lives of Japanese citizens of both Japanese and African descent.
Jie YANG (Simon Fraser University)
Councilor 2020-21-22, jie_yang[at] sfu.ca
Jie Yang is professor of anthropology at Simon Fraser University. She was trained in linguistic anthropology. Her current research focuses on critical studies of mental health and psychology in China. She is editor of the Political Economy of Affect and Emotion in East Asia (2014, Routledge) and author of two monographs: Unknotting the Heart: Unemployment and Therapeutic Governance (2015, Cornell University Press; 2016 winner of Francis Hsu Book Prize) and Mental Health in China: Change, Tradition, and Therapeutic Governance (2017, Polity). She is completing a new monograph on the phenomenon of guan xinbing provisionally entitled Officials’ Heart Distress: Bureaucracy, Double Bind, and Psychologization in China.
Yukun ZENG (University of Chicago)
Student Councilor 2019, 2020 zengy [at]uchicago.edu
Yukun Zeng is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Department at University of Chicago. His research focuses on the revitalization of traditional Confucian education in contemporary China. The major research question for his dissertation project is how traditional Confucian literacy and educational practices re-articulate Chinese parents’ concern for their children and how these Confucian ways are adopted as (alternative) educational, religious, or other social space, given the sociopolitical situation and value landscape in contemporary China.
Yifan WANG (Rice University)
Student Councilor 2020, 2021 yifanwang[at]rice.edu
Yifan Wang is a Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at Rice University. Her research examines the corporate responses to population aging in urban China in light of the state’s call for industrialization (chanyehua) of eldercare. Based in Nanjing, her research follows a range of actors involved in the eldercare industry, from market researchers, customer service specialists, and salespersons to careworkers, senior residents, and their families. It seeks to capture how such industrialization of eldercare transforms ethical regimes, professionalizes care work, and creates new forms of aging subjects in contemporary urban China.
Program Editors for SEAA in the 2020 Annual Meeting of the AAA
John Cho (Chair), Nick Harkness, Gavin Whitelaw [see contacts, above]
SEAA Column Editors (AAA Newsletter) (Appointed by the Board)
|Hanna Pickwell (University of Chicago)
(see SEAA communications team, below)
|Elizabeth RODWELL (University of Houston)
(see SEAA communications team, below)
SEAA Digital Communications (Web, FB, Twitter) (Appointed by the Board)
Hanna PICKWELL, University of Chicago, hpickwell[at] uchicago.edu
Hanna Pickwell is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Chicago. She is interested in contemporary activations of material culture of the past, be they aesthetic, political, and/or supernatural. Her current project is about secondhand consumption, and the various enchantments and anxieties that surround used and outmoded objects in Beijing.
Elizabeth RODWELL, Ph.D., University of Houston, erodwell[at] uh.edu.edu
Liz Rodwell is Assistant Professor of Digital Media at the University of Houston. Her work has been funded by the NSF, JSPS, and SSRC, and she is currently completing revisions on her book about interactive television and journalism in Japan. She serves as the Executive Director of the Houston branch of UXPA–the User Experience Professionals Association. Her new research project is focused on Usability (UX), AI, and Conversational Agents.
Guven WITTEVEEN, Ph.D., anthroview[at]gmail.com
Guven Witteveen now works on project-based assignments, evaluation and consulting. His interests include visual anthropology, museum studies and public outreach education including the ways to make anthropology more present and visible in public discussions; local history representation and citizen movements, as well as producing materials for foreign language learning.