Prof. John Traphagan elected Secretary General of the Japan Anthropology Workshop
JAWS is the world's largest organization of anthropologists conducting research and teaching about Japanese culture and society
Posted: April 6, 2010
John Traphagan, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, was elected Secretary General of the Japan Anthropology Workshop (JAWS) at its recent conference hosted at UT-Austin in March 2010. Founded in Europe in the early 1980s, JAWS is an international association of scholars interested in the anthropology of Japan. It promotes dialogue between scholars from a number of academic disciplines: from anthropologists interested in how the Japanese context can benefit their own fields of study, to scholars of Japan seeking ways to apply anthropological approaches to their work. With well over 240 members from more than twenty different countries, it is the largest organization of its kind in the world.
JAWS holds regular conferences which bring together scholars from Europe, North America, and Asia to exchange research on topics related to Japan, usually focused on a specific theme. The 2010 conference at UT-Austin centered on the theme, "Religion, Ritual, and Identity in Japan." Published collections of conference papers often become major works in the field, and recently the organization teamed up with Routledge Press to establish its own JAWS Series.
Professor Traphagan is a trained anthropologist who specializes in Japan. His research interests revolve round three primary areas: religion and society in Japan, medical ethics and medical anthropology, and anthropological approaches to religion. He has been a member of JAWS for four years and will serve a 3-5 year term as Secretary General, in which capacity he will manage and oversee the organization's operations and develop opportunities for further growth.